Marine general named new head for U.S., NATO forces in Afghanistan
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Four-star Marine general and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Joseph F. Dunford Jr. has been nominated as the new commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
U.S. President Barack Obama named him Wednesday to replace fellow Marine four-star general, John R. Allen, who was promoted to supreme allied commander in Europe.
Dunford’s appointment still needs the confirmation of the Senate and the North Atlantic Council, the principal decision-making body within NATO, before he could assume the post by next year.
Dunford led the U.S. 5th Marine Regiment during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and later served as a chief of staff and as an assistant commander of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq. He has not served in Afghanistan, but Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta described him “an exceptionally gifted strategic leader,” according to Washington Post.
As the fifth top allied commander in Afghanistan in five years, Dunford will oversee and manage the drawdown of U.S. and international forces in the country and the complete turnover of national security responsibility to the Afghan armed forces by 2014.