The Pentagon this week tried to douse a scoop in the Times of London that suggested Gen. David Petraeus would leave his assignment leading coalition forces in Afghanistan before the end of the year, but that hasn’t stopped speculation on who might follow him.
The same paper reported today that Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the senior Army officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is among the candidates if Petraeus opts for a stateside assignment. The Times has a pay wall, so here’s a link to a story at one of its sister papers, The Australian.
The Times says Gen. Ray Odierno, a key player with Petraeaus in turning around the Iraq War, is the favored candidate for the assignment in Afghanistan. Other news outlets have made the same prediction.
Scaparrotti is heading to Afghanistan this summer with the I Corps, where he will lead daily combat operations under Petraeus’s command for American, NATO and Afghan forces. He previously served in Afghanistan leading the 82nd Airborne Division in 2009-10, and he was operations commander for U.S. Central Command from 2006 to 2008.