By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
May 16, 2007 – President Bush announced yesterday that he has named Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, director of operations for the Joint Staff, as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush named Lute to the new position to serve as the full-time manager for implementing and executing U.S. strategies for Iraq and Afghanistan, the president explained. Lute also will manage the interagency policy-development process for the two theaters, working closely with National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, the Cabinet and the president.
Lute's efforts will directly support Navy Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command; Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq; U.S. commanders in Afghanistan; and the U.S. ambassadors to Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said.
"Nothing is more important than getting Admiral Fallon, General Petraeus, American commanders in Afghanistan, and Ambassadors (Ryan) Crocker and (William) Wood what they need, and Douglas Lute can make sure that happens quickly and reliably," the president said.
Bush praised Lute as "a tremendously accomplished military leader who understands war and government and knows how to get things done."
While serving more than two years as director of operations at U.S. Central Command, Lute played an integral role in implementing combat operation plans in Iraq and Afghanistan and gained a critical understanding of the challenges being faced in the war on terror, the president noted.
"He has already earned the respect and trust of the officials with whom he will be working in his new role," Bush said.
Petraeus praised the president's choice for the new post. "Doug Lute knows Iraq, the region and Washington, and he'll be a great addition to the team that is striving to achieve success in Iraq," Petraeus said. "He is also a doer."
Crocker shared Petraeus' enthusiasm about Lute's nomination. "His knowledge and experience will make him a valuable partner to our efforts in Iraq," he said. "I look forward to working closely with Lieutenant General Doug Lute in the coming months. His knowledge and experience will make him a valuable partner to our efforts in Iraq."
A 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Lute served with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment during Operation Desert Storm and commanded Multinational Brigade East in Kosovo in 2002.
He has served on the staff of the Army chief of staff, on the Joint Staff's Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, and as executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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