CENTCOM Commander Gen. James Mattis reportedly is being forced out of his current post several months early, possibly over disagreements with Obama administration officials over policies toward Iran and other international issues.
Journalist Tom Ricks first reported that Mattis was facing an early exit, and insiders tell Fox News that the general was increasingly making the White House nervous while butting heads with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon over Iran.
Mattis has been in charge of military efforts in the Middle East since August 2010, and previously he led the Marines into Iraq in 2003.
Ricks, author of "Fiasco" about the Iraq war, now writes Mattis is being pushed out of CENTCOM for asking too many questions skeptical of a possible military strike on Iran.
But the Pentagon strongly disputes claims that Mattis is being pushed out. Spokesman George Little notes that on average combatant commanders serve 2.7 years. Mattis will have led CENTCOM for 2.6 years in March, when he is set to be replaced.