Air Force commander is likely candidate for top NATO post

General Philip M. Breedlove

From Thom Shanker, New  York Times:  Senior NATO officials said on Thursday that Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, currently the commander of American Air Force units in Europe and Africa, was emerging as the likely candidate to be nominated by President Obama to be the alliance’s supreme military commander. . . .

Before his current command position, General Breedlove also served as vice chief of staff of the Air Force.

Senior NATO officials described General Breedlove as the leading candidate for the top alliance military post, but spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been announced by Mr. Obama.

The disclosure on the likely personnel decision came as Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta joined other defense ministers from the alliance for a two-day session. The future of the mission in Afghanistan was on the agenda for the defense ministers’ meeting, the first since Mr. Obama ordered American forces in Afghanistan to be reduced by 34,000 troops within a year.  (photo: USAF)

UPDATE: From Craig Whitlock, Washington Post:  President Obama has settled on Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove as his likely pick to serve as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, according to a NATO official. . . .

The NATO official who confirmed that Breedlove was the likely choice spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama has not announced his nomination yet.

Image: USAF%208%2017%2012%20Gen%20Breedlove.jpg