Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, could be in line to be the next commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
The New York Times last week reported Petraeus is a candidate to replace Gen. George W. Casey Jr. as the top U.S. commander in Iraq. The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday reported Petraeus is being considered to lead Centcom - overseeing all U.S. forces in the Middle East.
During a weekend event in Leavenworth, Petraeus said he was unaware of promotion possibilities.
"I don't know anything about any plans like that at all," Petraeus said. "I read the same rumors you do, but I'm not aware of anything."
Petraeus led the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003; he gained a reputation for using "soft power" - aiding in the rebuilding of the region's economy and infrastructure - during the early days of the insurgency there.
He took command at Fort Leavenworth in October 2005 and has overseen production of a new field manual on counterinsurgency to be used by the Army and Marines. It was the first update to the Army counterinsurgency doctrine in 20 years and focuses not only on battlefield maneuvers but also on winning the support of native populations.
"What we say now is that there's a tremendous mix - you have to find the right balance of 'kinetic' and 'non-kinetic' operations," Petraeus told the Journal-World during an interview in February. "Kinetic being the lethal use of military force, and non-kinetic being, if you will, the 'softer' side of it."
The L.A. Times reported that the new approach makes Petraeus an attractive candidate for promotion to the four-star positions - but also could work against him.
"A guy like Petraeus is so ferociously creative and brilliant, sometimes that makes the buttoned-down senior military leadership nervous," Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey told that paper.
The new commander could be named in early 2007.