"There were people who warned me that you'd better get ready for the shoot 'em up here, because sooner or later we're going be at war with China," recalled the commander, William Fallon, a retired navy admiral. "I don't think that's where we want to go. And so I set about challenging all the assumptions."
In his first extensive interview since resigning from the navy this year, Fallon said that the United States desperately needed to come up with a strategy for dealing peacefully with a rising China.
"We have some combat activity still ongoing occasionally up in the Mosul area, but other than that it's pretty much over and been over," he said.
But the war in Afghanistan, though showing some progress in recent months as a result of increased cooperation with neighboring Pakistan, is "probably a bigger challenge than Iraq," Fallon said.