Gen. Petraeus Steps Down

He's off to CIA following troubling assassinations
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2011 4:22 AM CDT
Gen. Petraeus Steps Down
The outgoing US and NATO led International Security Assistance Force commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus claps as he welcomes his replacement, US Gen. John Allen.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

Gen. David Petraeus has stepped down as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan as he prepares to take over the CIA, leaving a bit of a mess behind. He turned the reins over to US Gen. John Allen in a Kabul ceremony the day after a top aide to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead in his home, and just days after Karzai's brother was killed in his house by a family bodyguard, notes the BBC.

Petraeus expressed a "profound and lasting" gratitude to Afghan and coalition forces. "You have shown enemies of Afghanistan that you are willing and able to resist a campaign of violence and intimidation," he added in remarks aimed at the Afghanistan people. Allen, who made a reputation in Iraq forging alliances with Sunni leaders, warned of "tough times" ahead. "I have no illusions about the challenges we will face," he added. (Read more David Petraeus stories.)

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