Rumor Alert: Mattis to be next CENTCOM?

According to sources far from U.S. Central Command and Joint Forces Command, there is strong speculation USJFCOM commander, Gen. Jim Mattis may soon be anointed CENTCOM king. Our sources are preparing for Mattis’ arrival at an upcoming Pacific area event and but are guessing he may be tied up in confirmation hearings or duties with the new job.

The CENTCOM job opened up when Army Gen. David Petraeus took a demotion to head the (growing) forces in Afghanistan. The former Afghan commander, Army Gen. Stan McChrystal and his staff were outed as a roving band of anti-establishment rebels by Rolling Stone magazine.

The Mattis retirement announcement earlier this year, was dubbed as a face-saving ploy (by Inside the Headquarters) in case he was not selected to be the next Marine Corps commandant. Well, he was passed over for the Corps’ top job, and we can only speculate on the reason. You may recall his penchant for “brawlin’” and shootin’ people, pastimes that can spell the death knell for even the most talented. His strong personality may have counted against him, too.

Mattis is said to be up against fellow CMC shortlister and current CENTCOM acting commander, Lt. Gen. John Allen. Word has it he and Petraeus work extremely well together. It seems a Petraeus-Mattis pairing is a winner, too.

It is believed Petraeus had more than a little input into who his successor and new boss would be. Would CENTCOM agree to a demotion to go to Afghanistan, get shot at and work for some loser he can’t stomach? Doubtful. Selfless Dave can only take so much. (You may recall he did pass out testifying before Congress.) As much as Petraeus may like Allen, having his number two may be unwise. Our guess is Mattis is the prime choice, (it’s been unusually quiet in his camp of late) a move that may have the DC power brokers nervous.

The decision could be announced soon. This week? Today? Maybe Mattis will have to delay those Waikiki and retirement plans.

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