Gates Recommends PACOM, NORTHCOM Successors; DoD Official Resigns
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2007 Defense officials today announced nominations for the top posts at two major commands and the resignation of the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced his recommended successors for at U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Northern Command.
Gates told reporters today he recommended that President Bush nominate Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, current NORTHCOM commander, to take command of PACOM. Bush named the current PACOM commander, Navy Adm. William Fallon, to take command of U.S. Central Command, and the Senate is expected to confirm the nomination soon.
The secretary also announced today that he recommended Air Force Lt. Gen. Victor “Gene” Renuart to assume Keating’s NORTHCOM post. Renuart currently serves as Gates’ senior military assistant. If Bush nominates him as NORTHCOM commander, as expected, and the Senate confirms the nomination, Renuart would receive his fourth star.
Gates praised both officers for establishing a record of accomplishments in a variety of complex and challenging assignments. “Each has shown the requisite combination of military, diplomatic and intellectual skills to be successful in these two positions,” he said.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed congratulations to Keating and Renuart. “They both have served this country extremely well, and if confirmed, they both will continue to do so,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior defense official announced today that Charles “Cully” Stimson, deputy assistant secretary for detainee affairs, has resigned, effective today. Gates accepted Stimson’s resignation yesterday, Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told reporters today.
Stimson offered his resignation in light of controversy over statements regarding lawyers who represent detainees, Whitman said. Stimson’s statements were seen as urging law firms to stop representing Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Whitman said Stimson believed the controversy “hampered his ability to be effective” in his post and resigned because he put the Defense Department’s interests above his own.
Whitman praised Stimson’s “diligent” work regarding detainee affairs. He cited his efforts to increase transparency and strengthen relationships with other non-governmental organizations and other groups, particularly the International Committee of the Red Cross.