04 Aug 2010 15:40:58 GMT
WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - A Senate panel on Wednesday voted to confirm
General James Mattis as the new head of the U.S. military command overseeing the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A tough-talking, widely respected four-star general, Mattis was confirmed on a voice
vote by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the panel's chairman,
Senator Carl Levin said.
Mattis is now expected to easily win confirmation by the full Senate, clearing him to
take up his post as the next head of U.S. Central Command. The Senate vote could
come this week.
Centcom, as it is known, oversees operations in a volatile swathe of the world that
covers 20 countries and stretches from Egypt across the Middle East and into south and central Asia.
Mattis replaces General David Petraeus, who technically accepted a demotion in
June to take command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Petraeus will now
report to Mattis.
(Reporting by Phillip Stewart, Editing by Sandra Maler)