May 11th, 2009
03:05 PM ET
12 years ago

Gates replacing top U.S. commander in Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gen. David McKiernan is being replaced as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan - Gen. David McKiernan - will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Monday afternoon.

Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez has been tapped to serve as McChrystal's deputy.

McKiernan, who was asked to resign, will remain in his current position - which as top U.S. commander means he is the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan - until McChrystal and Rodriguez are confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gates said.

"Today we have a new policy set by our new president," Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

"We have a new strategy, a new mission, and a new ambassador (in Afghanistan). I believe that new military leadership also is needed."

Gates stated that "nothing went wrong" under McKiernan, but that it was his "conviction ... that a fresh approach (and) a fresh look in the context of a new strategy was in our best interest."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Obama administration • Pentagon
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Diana

    How did Andy know to ask this guy? How did he know he was in the aeciunde? How did he know that he would be there that night? How did the person with the mic know to give it to him? How did he get there, did he buy the plane ticket or did someone else?Talk about rigging the election...Was this guy in the National Guard? I thought that wasn't *really* serving in the military...

    February 17, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |