Monday, July 18, 2011

David Petraeus transmits the command of ISAF to U.S. General John Allen

The head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. General David Petraeus, has officially passed, Monday, July 18, the command to his successor, U.S. General John Allen, at a ceremony in Kabul. Petraeus leaves Afghanistan after a year at the head of the coalition to head the CIA, the U.S. intelligence, without being able to halt the spiral of violence in the country, where two close to President Karzai been killed in recent days.

He leaves in a critical time for Afghanistan, after the launch Sunday of the process called "transition", in which NATO has gradually pass the responsibility of the country's security to Afghan forces. The coalition has hired parallel to withdraw its fighting forces, meant as the transition completed by the end of 2014, while many experts doubt the capacity of Afghan forces to provide only the country's security.

Approximately one hundred and thirty thousand NATO troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan to support the government of President Hamid Karzai against the Taliban-led insurgency since they were ousted in late 2001. Considered the architect of the winning strategy of the United States in Iraq, David Petraeus was replaced in June 2010, at the head of the Coalition General Stanley McChrystal, revoked after publication in the press about critical President Barack Obama.

At the CIA, David Petraeus will replace Leon Panetta, now defense secretary. General Allen was, in turn, far second in command of Centcom, the U.S. command in the Middle East and Central Asia. David Petraeus, who advocated a tightening of the war, even further strengthening of the American contingent was part of military officials disavowed in recent months by Barack Obama.

The U.S. president announced in June to withdraw by the summer of 2012 thirty thousand men, one third of its contingent in Afghanistan and all the reinforcements sent from the end of 2009 to break the momentum of the Taliban. Petraeus, who argued in recent months to a much more limited withdrawal, had reacted to this decision by saying it was "a more radical version of the calendar" he had presented to Mr. Obama.

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