About Face: Pentagon Shifts Command in Afghanistan

A new U.S. commander and a new military strategy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pentagon has asked for the resignation of General David McKiernan, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. McKiernan will likely be replaced by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, a former special operations commander chosen by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. So what does the shake-up indicate about U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan? The Takeaway talks to Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner. He's taught strategy and military operations at the National War College.
"Normally you don't replace commanders during combat. One of the reasons you don't is because it has an effect on the troops. The troops will interpret this, or question 'Is this because I'm not doing a good job?'"
—Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner on the replacement of General David McKiernan


Col. Sam Gardiner

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Noel King

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