New Joint Chiefs Nominee: Iraq War is "A Generational War’

This post, written by Nico Pitney, originally appeared on Think Progress

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced today that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace, the highest-ranking U.S. military official, is being replaced by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen.

Pace is the first Joint Chiefs Chairman not to be renominated for a second term since the military was centralized under the joint chiefs position 21 years ago. The selection of Mullen also marks the first time in 21 years that both the head of the Joint Chiefs and the CentCom Commander, Adm. William Fallon, have been Navy officers.

Some insight on Mullen can be gained from a speech he gave to sailors in Pearl Harbor in Feb. 2007:
In his opening remarks, Mullen, a Vietnam War veteran, told Pearl Harbor sailors: "I honestly believe this is the most dangerous time in my life.
"The enemy now is basically evil and fundamentally hates everything we are -- the democratic principles for which we stand ... This war is going to go on for a long time. It's a generational war."
From a Feb. 2006 interview with Mullen:
You use the term 'Long War', and it's important to understand that and really grab this issue because it is going to be around for a significant amount of time. I call it generational. That said, there are still traditional capabilities that are very much required.
When Fallon was appointed in January to lead CentCom, analysts noted the choice of a Navy officer reflected "a greater emphasis on countering Iranian power, a mission that relies heavily on naval forces and combat airpower to project American influence in the Persian Gulf." In announcing the nomination of Mullen this afternoon, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said that Mullen "watches Iran closely."

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