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Pentagon announces new US Commander for Afghanistan
The Pentagon has named Lieutenant General John Mick Nicholson as the new commander of international forces in Afghanistan. Once confirmed by the United States Senate, Gen Nicholson who is currently the US Army commander of NATO land forces, would replace Gen John Campbell, who has been leading the Afghan operations for nearly 18 months. Nicholson has served in multiple capacities including chief of staff of operations for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US Forces - Afghanistan, director of the Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell for the Joint Staff, and deputy commander - Stability of ISAF Regional Command South.
The transition comes amid growing concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants have caused large numbers of casualties among Afghan troops and Islamic State affiliates have made some inroads. President Barack Obama in October announced 9,800 US forces would remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 -backtracking on an earlier pledge to pull all but 1,000 US troops from the country.