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New U.S. commander takes the helm in Afghanistan

LAST UPDATED: 9:12 a.m. HST, Feb 10, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A new U.S. commander is at the helm of international forces in Afghanistan.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford takes charge at a critical time for President Barack Obama and the military as foreign combat forces prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

He replaces Gen. John Allen, who has been nominated to become the head of NATO forces in Europe after he was exonerated in a Pentagon investigation of questionable email exchanges with a Florida woman linked to the sex scandal that led CIA director David Petraeus to resign.

Allen, who served for 19 months beginning in July 2011, was the longest-serving commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Dunford said at Sunday's change of command ceremony in Kabul that "today is not about change, it's about continuity."

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