The Pentagon is replacing the top American commander in Afghanistan—just eleven months after he assumed the post. Gen. David McKiernan will be replaced by Lt.-Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, a former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command and a veteran leader of special operations in Iraq. Reports suggest that McKiernan was considered too “conventional” at a time when the Afghanistan war zone has quickly evolved into one of the most complex military challenges the White House has ever seen. “Our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches by our military leaders,” Defense Secretary Robert Gate told a news conference this afternoon, “Nothing went wrong and there was nothing specific,” he added. But “a new approach was probably in our best interest.” The shake-up comes on the same day as a change of leadership at the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, the Ottawa-based headquarters of every overseas mission. As planned, Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard took over for Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier.
The New York Times