Washington (CNN) - Gen. David Petraeus intends to undertake a sweeping review of American military operations in Afghanistan - including the rules of engagement for troops - if he is confirmed by the Senate as the top U.S. commander in that country, U.S. military officials told CNN Friday.
Washington (CNN) - On paper it appeared to be a winning team for President Obama and his new plan to fix Afghanistan: a celebrated general, a master of counterinsurgency strategy overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as head of CENTCOM, with his his protege running the war in Afghanistan.
The two, Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, had enjoyed success because of their military minds. Ask around the Pentagon and the phrase most often used in connection with both is "brilliant."
While coming from different paths, both generals have a good deal of similarities. After the now-infamous Rolling Stone article, however, it is clear that Petraeus alone has the savvy to survive in Washington.
An academic with political deftness, Petraeus approaches combat with a mix of military and diplomacy, the essence of counterinsurgency.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., a veteran of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, told CNN Thursday he's not surprised there may be some tension between the military and the Obama administration.
"If you look at this administration, if you look at then-Senator Biden, then-Senator Obama, then-Senator Clinton, with the way that they went after Petraeus three years ago and said that that Iraq surge was not going to work, I think that the military commanders right now, the ones that have three and four stars, have a little bit of a - a burr under their saddle when it comes to this administration," Hunter told CNN's John King.
"These are the same senators who - who basically said that General Petraeus was incompetent three years ago. But now they're looking to him to win in Afghanistan."
Obama, Biden and Clinton were opposed to the 2007 "surge" of sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, an initiative Petraeus spearheaded.
(CNN) - Director Oliver Stone, a longtime critic of President Barack Obama's Afghanistan policy, says the president was wrong to choose Gen. David Petraeus to be the new leader of the effort there.
"He's asking the head of the whole region, CENTCOM command, Petraeus, to step down in authority to take this post. That shows a complete breakdown in the military, to me," Stone said in an interview with CNN's John King.
"You don't promote down," added Stone, a veteran of the Vietnam War. "It's like asking Eisenhower to lead a division in World War II after he's led D-Day. You don't do that."
Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his duties as the top commander in Afghanistan Wednesday after the general and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article making comments that appear to mock top administration officials.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen endorsed Obama's decision during a Pentagon news conference Thursday. Mullen said he was nearly physically "sick" when he read the Rolling Stone story. The comments in the article constituted an unacceptable challenge to civilian authority, the men said.
Washington (CNN) - Gen. David Petraeus told CNN on Thursday that he supports President Barack Obama's July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a key point of contention between the president and many of his Republican critics in Congress.
Petraeus - tapped to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan - also expressed his respect and appreciation for McChrystal's work and said the circumstances surrounding the change in command are "sad."
McChrystal was relieved of duty on Wednesday after he and his staff made comments in a Rolling Stone magazine article that appear to mock top Obama administration officials.
Petraeus's remarks to CNN's Dana Bash and Ted Barrett were his first public comments since being chosen as the new U.S. military chief for the Afghan conflict. The Senate Armed Services Committee is set to begin confirmation hearings for Petraeus next Tuesday morning.
"I support the president's policy, and I will also provide the best professional military advice as we conduct assessments," Petraeus said.
Washington (CNN) - It's still unclear whether President Barack Obama had made up his mind before sitting down Wednesday with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, but CNN has learned that during their one-on-one meeting, Obama gave the general a chance to defend himself.
"The president asked him about the article," said a senior administration official, referring to a Rolling Stone magazine article containing comments from McChrystal and his staff that appear to mock top civilian officials,
including the vice president.
"He [McChrystal] tried to explain the situation," the official said.
That senior administration official, who briefed reporters, gave this backstory:
Once Obama accepted McChrystal's resignation, he wasted no time finding his replacement. After McChrystal walked out of the White House following his 30 minute face-to-face meeting with the president, the president immediately huddled with a team of advisors to decide who would replace McChrystal.
That group included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. For 45 minutes, they mulled over the president's options.
President Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus to command the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, told CNN Wednesday that he hopes to hold confirmation hearings for Gen. David Petraeus as early as next week.
President Barack Obama's decision to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Petraeus was "reasonable," Levin said.
President Obama announced Wednesday that he has asked Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) - President Obama announced Wednesday that he has asked Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Obama said McChrystal's conduct "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general" and undermines both civilian authority and trust.
He said his decision to change commanders in Afghanistan is "a change in personnel, but ... not a change in policy."
Obama said he could not maintain a "unity of effort" in the Afghan war without a change of command. Obama said he won't "tolerate division" among his military commanders. "Our nation is at war," he said at the White House. "We face a very tough fight in Afghanistan."
Washington (CNN) - Gen. David Petraeus was back before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday and looking well a day after a mid-hearing faint postponed his previous appearance.
Senators were quick to resume their questioning of Petraeus, the chief of U.S. Central Command, over the progress of the war in Afghanistan. But before the questioning began, Petraeus - whose command over sees the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - joked with the committee about the Tuesday incident, which was heavy replayed on cable television networks and online.
"Thank you for the opportunity for a redo hearing after I demonstrated yesterday the importance of following my first platoon sergeant's order 35 years ago to always stay hydrated," he said. "I'll try to remember that in the future."
Petraeus told reporters Tuesday that he collapsed at the hearing because he was dehydrated. Witnesses at Congressional hearings often try to curtail liquids in order to endure the long sessions, and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said yesterday that the general had also skipped breakfast.
"I do thank the committee as well for the chocolate chip cookies that were in the anteroom before this session," Petraeus said Wednesday.
Washington (CNN) - The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was escorted from a congressional hearing room after apparently choking during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's chairman, said Gen. David Petraeus "appears to be doing very well" after the incident, but withheld a decision on whether the hearing would go on.
"He's eating," Levin said. "He probably didn't have enough water to drink coming in here this morning."
Petraeus is the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the conduct of the U.S. wars in the Middle East and central Asia.