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Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

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U.S. quickly going through commanders in Afghan war

By Deb Riechmann

Associated Press

POSTED:


KABUL, Afghanistan  >>  At the international military headquarters in Kabul, it's jokingly being called the curse of the commander's job.

The last four U.S. generals to run the Afghan war were either forced to resign or saw their careers tainted by allegations of wrongdoing.

The first, Gen. David McKiernan, was ousted on May 11, 2009, a year before his term as commander was set to end. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted McKiernan's resignation as newly elected President Barack Obama launched a counterinsurgency strategy of working to undermine the Taliban's pull on the population.

It was the first presidential dismissal of a wartime general since President Harry Truman ousted Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.

Obama replaced McKiernan with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who had a background in special operations and came in with a mandate to remake the war effort with the help of "surge" troops. But he lasted only 13 months.

In June 2010, Rolling Stone published an article that quoted scathing remarks McChrystal and his aides made about their civilian bosses, including Vice President Joseph Biden, as fools who were ignorant of the complexities of war. Obama called McChrystal back to Washington to explain and forced him to resign.







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