NATO Commander Tells Congress He’s Being ‘Kicked Out’ With NATO-Arms Control
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Army Gen. Bernard Rogers complained Wednesday to Congress that he is being ″kicked out″ of his position as the top military officer in NATO and the chief U.S. military official in Europe.
Rogers, 65, will end a 44-year military career on June 30 when he retires after serving eight years in both positions.
He is leaving because President Reagan declined earlier this year to renominate him for another two-year term in the posts. The military commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has always been an American, chosen by the U.S. president.
Rogers will be succeeded by Army Gen. John R. Galvin, who now heads the U.S. Central Command in Panama. Galvin is 57.
Rogers, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was told by Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., who is 85, that ″you shouldn’t retire. You’re younger than I am.″
″I am being retired,″ answered Rogers, adding, ″I had decided many years ago that I would serve in the Army until I was kicked out. That time has come.″
NATO announced Feb. 24 that Rogers current term would be his last, although it had long been rumored that he was leaving.
According to U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity, one reason for not giving Rogers another term has been his criticism of some arms control proposals advanced by Reagan.