Fallon: I was pressured for months
Admiral Fallon has admitted that he was under pressure because of the public positions he had taken on Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
In an interview with the New York Times, Admiral William J. Fallon said that he had felt the pressure building for several months before his departure. He had, after all, taken public positions favoring diplomacy over force in Iran, troop withdrawals from Iraq that were greater than officially planned and more high-level attention to Afghanistan.
Former US Middle East commander Fallon announced his sudden resignation in March after an Esquire magazine article described him as the only man standing in US President George Bush's way, not allowing him to wage war against Iran.
“I wanted us to get focused on Iraq and Afghanistan at a high level, not just rubber-stamping every request, or whatever that was coming out of Baghdad,” he said during the interview.
He also said that he favored dialogue and patience, not war, with Iran, and that the US Navy could provide a way to begin the process.
“In the conduct of daily business, we routinely have excellent communications with the Iranian Navy,” he said.
“When the conditions are right, it might be a reasonable way of interaction, to build on existing maritime communications.”
He defended his public statements on Iran that stressed diplomacy over the use of force and said, “People tend to look at things in black and white, we're going to love Iran or attack Iran… That is a very simplistic way to approach a complex problem.”
He also acknowledged that he had had differences with the top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus.
He also did not contradict reports that at one point Petraeus had wanted as many troops on the ground in Iraq as possible, while he had favored substantial reductions.