WASHINGTON, US — President Barak Obama has tapped the vice chief of the army to take over the US command in Afghanistan later this year as the United States pulls out its combat troops and leaves a force of about 10,000 to train and advise the Afghan military, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Army General John Campbell will take over the Afghanistan post, returning to the country where he led the 101st Airborne Division’s deployment in 2010. “His job will be to oversee the final months of transition this year, and then lead the next phase as the US works with the new Afghan government to improve its military and the ministries that govern it,” The Washington Post reported.
Campbell would replace Marine Gen Joseph Dunford, who has been leading the fight in Afghanistan since February 2013. Dunford has been tapped to become the next commandant of the Marine Corps. Campbell’s yearlong tour with the 101st in eastern Afghanistan came during one of the most violent and difficult times of the war, as a surge of US forces tried to tamp down escalating violence.
In addition, President Barak Obama nominated Army Lt Gen Joseph Votel to receive a fourth star and appointment as the head of US Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. Gen Votel has been serving as commander of the US Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He would replace Adm William McRaven, who has been credited with spearheading the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden during a raid at his compound in Pakistan in May 2011.