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Gen. Petraeus arrives in Afghanistan to take over from Gen. McChrystal

Saturday, July 3, 2010

AFGHANISTAN

Petraeus arrives amid prospects of shake-up

Gen. David H. Petraeus arrived in Kabul on Friday evening to take over from Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, beginning a new phase in the war there at a time of thriving insurgency and ineffective Afghan governance.

Petraeus landed two days after his Senate confirmation and is scheduled to officially take command in a ceremony Sunday. One of his early tasks will be to formulate his team, requiring decisions on which of McChrystal's key subordinates -- some of whom were responsible for the incendiary quotations in the Rolling Stone article that led to McChrystal's downfall -- would stay in place.

A civilian press adviser to McChrystal has already resigned, and McChrystal's chief of staff, Col. Charles Flynn, has not returned to Kabul. The fate of other senior figures, including Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville, NATO's deputy chief of staff for operations, and Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the head of intelligence and Charles Flynn's brother, remains undecided.

Petraeus arrives in Afghanistan accompanied by lofty expectations that he can accomplish the kind of reversal he oversaw in Iraq, despite the failure to date of attempts to coax Afghans to rally against the Taliban. The uprising of Sunni Muslims against Iraqi insurgents was key to the steep drop in violence in Iraq.

-- Joshua Partlow

4 killed in attack on USAID compound

Six suicide bombers stormed a USAID compound in northeastern Afghanistan before dawn Friday, killing at least four people and wounding several others, officials said. At least two of the dead were foreigners.

The Taliban asserted responsibility for the attack in Kunduz, which began when a suicide car bomber blew a hole in the wall around a building used by Development Alternatives, a Washington-based global consulting company on contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The company works on governance and community development in the area.

At least five other attackers then ran into the building, killing or wounding security guards and others inside before being killed by Afghan security forces.


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