The Pentagon announced Tuesday that President George W. Bush had nominated Army General George W. Casey, Jr., for a newly created military post in Iraq, replacing top US commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.
Casey, the Army vice chief of staff, would be responsible for overseeing the US-led multinational forces in Iraq and interacting with the new Iraqi government that takes over on June 30, the Pentagon said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Casey would be the only four-star general in Iraq. His nomination had been widely expected.
The Pentagon said last month that it was considering replacing Sanchez after he had served in Iraq for more than 13 months. The Defense Department denied the move has any connection with the scandal of abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, but senior Pentagon officials believed he could not be confirmed quickly by the Senate for the newly created post of commander of Multi-National Forces in Iraq.
Sanchez was expected to go to Germany as head of the army's V Corps pending the conclusion of investigations into the abuse scandal.
(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2004)