'Obama's Favorite General' Won't Head Joint Chiefs

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:41 PM

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The White House has decided against nominating Marine Gen. James Cartwright, known around Washington as "Obama's favorite general," to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Journal reports. Tensions between Cartwright and the man he would have succeeded, Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, reportedly prompted President Barack Obama to find another candidate.

Gen. James Cartwright, Obama, Joint Chiefs
Gen. James Cartwright had key role in raid that killed Osama bin Laden. (Getty Images Photo)
Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the nation’s second-ranked military officer behind McMullen, has disagreed repeatedly with his superior over decision-making authority and job responsibilities.

Cartwright used to run the U.S. Strategic Command and as Joint Chiefs vice chairman, he had a key role in planning the successful raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

To some observers, his lack of combat experience had hurt his chances to lead the Joint Chiefs. But the clashes with Mullen, which spurred suggestions that Cartwright wasn’t a team player, appeared to be decisive.

“During last year’s administration debate over the war in Afghanistan, Mullen particularly resented a move by Cartwright to go around the chairman in independently offering the White House options for a smaller troop increase than others in the armed services were discussing,” the Journal reported.

It is unclear whether Cartwright, 61, will opt to retire from the military now that he’s run out of upward promotions.

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