WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has tapped the vice chief of the Army to take over the U.S. command in Afghanistan later this year as America pulls out its combat troops and leaves a force of about 10,000 to train and advise the Afghan military.
If confirmed by the Senate, Army Gen. John Campbell will take over the Afghanistan post, returning to the country where he led the 101st Airborne Division's deployment in 2010. His job will be to oversee the final months of transition this year, and then lead the next phase as the U.S. works with the new Afghan government to improve its military and the ministries that govern it.
Campbell would replace Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has been leading the fight in Afghanistan since February 2013. Dunford has been tapped to become the next commandant of the Marine Corps.
Campbell's yearlong tour with the 101st in eastern Afghanistan came during one of the most violent and difficult times of the war, as a surge of U.S. forces tried to tamp down escalating violence. The 101st lost more than 130 division soldiers during that deployment — the deadliest war tour for the unit since Vietnam.
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