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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Guantanamo general to head Nato
General Bantz Craddock
General Craddock resisted pressure to reprimand a Guantanamo officer
A US army general who oversees the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has been chosen as Nato's next military head.

General Bantz Craddock, chief of US Southern Command, has been picked to be Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

The choice of Gen Craddock, who succeeds retiring General James Jones, needs approval by the US Senate.

Gen Craddock has normally defended the controversial camp against criticism, although he has ordered investigations into some claims of abuse of suspects.

In one case, he blocked attempts to get a Guantanamo commander reprimanded over abuse claims, insisting the officer had done nothing wrong.

Nato announced in Brussels that Gen Craddock had been chosen to replace Gen Jones, who was the first Marine to hold the post.

"The Nato Defence Planning Committee, which takes this decision, agreed but also expressed to General Jones, in the name of Nato governments, their gratitude for his distinguished service," the alliance said in a statement.

Gen Craddock, who led US forces in Kosovo in 1998, was chief military assistant to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld between 2002 and 2004 before taking over the running of US military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Under Nato tradition, the alliance's military commander comes from the US and its top civilian leader from Europe.

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