WASHINGTON - President Bush is shaking up the team responsible for carrying out his military and diplomatic strategies in Iraq as he prepares to outline a new direction for the war that has raged for nearly four years.
Bush will replace Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, and Gen. George Casey, the chief general in Iraq, in the coming weeks, according to media reports Thursday. A revamping of the administration's national security team was already under way.
Bush wants to replace Abizaid with Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, and Casey's replacement will be Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who headed the effort to train Iraqi security forces, the reports citing administration officials said.
Giving Fallon and Petraeus the top military posts in the Middle East would help Bush to assert that he is taking a fresh approach in the region and help pave the way for him to turn policy there in a new direction. Both Abizaid and Casey have expressed reservations about the potential effectiveness of boosting troop strength in Iraq.
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