posted at 21:00
Author Name: Paul Szoldra
Military Leaders Cant Stand The Retired General Leading The Anti-ISIS Coalition
For retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who was appointed by President Obama in September as special envoy to lead the global coalition to counter the militant group, that calculus has been wrong. "Why the hell do we need a special envoy - isn't that what John Kerry's for?" a senior officer close to Austin told Perry, of the potential for confusion since Gen. Allen reports directly to President Obama. Allen - now inside the State Department and no longer wearing military rank - commands a role not very far outside the scope of duties of Gen. Austin at Centcom, who is charged with overseeing relationships, offering military support, and carrying out operations when necessary in 20 Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq and Syria. When Allen requested that the Pentagon provide him with air transport to the region just days before his scheduled arrival in Iraq on Oct. 2, he was turned down by Austin's staff, who told him to check with the State Department. "John Allen is a great guy, but does it take a retired general to coordinate a coalition? What is Centcom, chopped liver? Did Norman Schwarzkopf get some retired general? Who is really leading here, that is my question." For many of the military's top leaders it seems, having a retired general like Allen outside of the military chain-of-command reporting to Obama is a sign of White House "Micromanagement." It also offers the possibility of conflicting messages between State and the Pentagon in the fight against ISIL. As militants battled for control of the home town of Jalal al-Gaood in Iraq's Anbar province, the man desperately tried to reach Allen to ask for assistance, but it was too late. "Gen. Allen said, 'I will put you in touch with someone in Centcom.' But it never happened," Gaood told The Washington Post's David Ignatius.

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