While serving as CentCom commander between March 2007 and March 2008, Adm. William Fallon consistently pressed the Bush administration for more engagement with Iran and criticized the calls for another war. “This constant drumbeat of conflict is what strikes me which is not helpful and not useful,” Fallon told al Jazeera last year.
In his new book “The War Within,” Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward details a telling White House meeting on Iran in spring 2007 (p. 334):
“I think we need to do something to get engaged with these guys,” Fallon said. Iraq shared a 900-mile border with Iran, and he needed guidance and a strategy for dealing with the Iranians.
“Well,” Bush said, “these are assholes.”
Fallon was stunned. Declaring them “assholes” was not a strategy.