Tak­ing Charge

Southasia - - Briefing -

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­cently nom­i­nated Marine Gen. Joseph Dun­ford to re­place Gen­eral John Allen, as the com­man­der of NATO troops in Afghanistan. Gen. Dun­ford, cur­rently serv­ing as As­sis­tant Com­man­dant of the Marine Corps., has ex­pe­ri­ence with com­mand­ing troops in Iraq but will set foot in Afghanistan for the first time. Gen. Allen will as­sume the post of Supreme Al­lied Com­man­der Europe.

Gen­eral Allen es­tab­lished strong cred­i­bil­ity with NATO al­lies hav­ing worked as an ef­fec­tive mil­i­tary leader fight­ing against Al Qaeda. His ab­sence might dent U.S mea­sures, at least in the short term. Allen’s suc­ces­sor, a four-star gen­eral, led sev­eral units be­fore as­sum­ing com­mand of the Marine Corps. His no­table ser­vice was com­mand­ing the 5th Marine Reg­i­ment dur­ing the 2003 war in Iraq.

Gen­eral Dun­ford is as­sum­ing the post at a time when US forces face tough times in Afghanistan. Gear­ing up to leave in 2014, the troops have al­ready faced strong re­tal­i­a­tion by Afghan forces and have also had to ad­dress con­cerns of in­fil­tra­tion, now fa­mously known as Green on Blue at­tacks. Strug­gling to train and equip the Afghan Na­tional Army, US troops have quite a task ahead of them and it is un­cer­tain whether Gen­eral Dun­ford is up to the mark. Pres­i­dent Obama how­ever has shown great con­fi­dence in his ex­pe­ri­ence, lead­er­ship and vi­sion to serve as com­man­der of U.S Forces and NATO ISAF in Afghanistan. While mak­ing the an­nounce­ment, the Pres­i­dent as­serted, “Dun­ford will lead our forces through key mile­stones in our ef­fort that will al­low us to bring the war to a close re­spon­si­bly as Afghanistan takes full re­spon­si­bil­ity for its se­cu­rity.”

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