Gen. Dunford picked to lead Marine Corps
The announcement was made by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Pentagon Spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said there was no timeline for Dunford's transition out of Afghanistan.
No replacement for him has been announced yet. If confirmed by the Senate, Dunford will succeed General James F. Amos as Marine Corps Commandant.
Senator Jim Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed his nomination and praised his current role in Afghanistan.
"I'm pleased Gen. Dunford has been chosen to serve as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. Dunford has a long and distinguished career of service to our nation, particularly in his current role as our top commander in Afghanistan,” Inhofe said.
"General Dunford's successes in Afghanistan are a reminder of how hard our troops have fought to win the peace there,” said Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“They only reinforce the importance of a strong, post-2014 presence, which forges a lasting partnership with the Afghan people.”
“It is my hope that General Dunford's replacement will conduct his own assessment of what is needed in Afghanistan after this year and will provide that assessment to the President,” McKeon said.
General Dunford took over as commander in Afghanistan early last year to manage the withdrawal of the roughly 68,000 American troops who were still there and to ensure that Afghan forces were prepared to take over security from them.
About 32,000 American troops are still in the country. Last week, Obama said that he planned withdraw the last troops by the end of 2016, with levels dropping to 9,800 after this year.
In a statement, General Amos said he was “extremely pleased” with the president’s selection of General Dunford.
“Joe is one of the most knowledgeable and talented leaders and thinkers in the military today,” he said. He said that General Dunford’s command of allied forces in Afghanistan over the last 18 months had been “extraordinary, and is testament to the full measure of the man.”
General Dunford has a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
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