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Fraser Tapped to Lead SOUTHCOM: Defense Secretary Robert Gates yesterday recommended that Air Force Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser become the next head of US Southern Command. Fraser, who has been deputy commander of US Pacific Command since last April, would be the first Air Force leader of SOUTHCOM, if the Senate confirms his subsequent nomination. He would succeed Adm. James Stavridis, who Gates tapped yesterday to take over US European Command (see below). SOUTHCOM has oversight of the US military’s activities in Central and South America, including counter-drug operations. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)