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.”