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StateSide:Policy
Top U.S. Mideast Generals Departing
Speculation Abounds on Who Will Replace Abizaid, Casey
12/20/2006 11:15 AM ET
The Los Angeles Times broke the story this morning: U.S. Central Command chief John Abizaid will retire in March.

At a news conference today in Baghdad, Abizaid confirmed his plans to retire in the spring, saying "the time is right."

The LAT reports Abizaid, whose responsibilities include oversight of U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, tried to retire previously but was rebuffed by Donald Rumsfeld.

The AP reports this morning that General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, will step down soon -- maybe within weeks.

Speculation abounds on who will succeed Abizaid and Casey, with the frontrunners being David Petraeus and Peter Chiarelli, with other possibiltiies including Martin Dempsey and David McKiernan.

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