Gen. Petraeus Redons Fatigues for Afghan War

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WASHINGTON -- Gen. David Petraeus has been celebrated for overseeing the successful U.S. troop surge in Iraq. Now the professional four-star U.S. Army general is being asked to lead the war in Afghanistan during a critical time.

However, Petraeus will be up against the clock since President Obama wants to start withdrawing troops from the region in one year.

Charles Dunn, dean of the Regent University School of Government, spoke with CBN News about Patraeus' appointment and how the change of command will affect the war effort. Click here for his comments.

Wade Zirkle, an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and Purple Heart recipient, also gave reaction to President Obama's decision.  Click here to watch.

Formidable Challenges
The shake up in the command structure of the war in Afghanistan may have reverberated more loudly in Washington, D.C., than Kabul.

"Petraeus is someone who has the relationships and has the relationship with the president," said Nathaniel Fick, CEO of the Center for a New American Security. "This is as close as you can get to not missing a beat."
Still, Petreaus faces significant challenges:

  • In June, 80 international troops have died in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest month of the war.
  • It's still unclear if coalition-trained Afghani police and soldiers are ready to operate on their own.
  • And the security campaign in Kandahar province has been moving more slowly than expected.

But some analysts say no matter what happens, the president will bear the brunt of any disappointments.

"Let's remember that McChrystal was his hand-picked selection to run the war in Afghanistan, and now he's been put in a position of having to fire his own hand-picked general and replace him with Bush's general," military analyst Scott Wheeler said.

McChrystal's Waterloo

After a 30-minute meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal Wednesday, Obama announced the embattled general was stepping down.

The decision comes in the wake of less than flattering remarks McChrystal made about the president and the administration in a Rolling Stone interview.
Some wonder why the commanding general would speak so candidly to a reporter and allow his staff to do the same.

During the infamous Rolling Stone interview, the general said that in his first meeting with Obama, he thought the president looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass.
Regarding another meeting with the president, one of McChrystal's advisors commented "the boss was pretty disappointed."

Commenting on the article with his new Afghan commander by his side, Obama said he welcomes debate, but won't tolerate division.

"The conduct represented in the recent article does not meet the standard of a commanding general," the president said.
Petraeus is expected to be on the ground in Afghanistan in a few weeks, once he has been confirmed by Congress.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at