Obama Taps New General to Lead Afghan War

John W. Nicholson Jr., right, then the major general in command of the 82nd Airborne Division, walks with Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno at Fort Bragg, N.C., in this 2014 photo.

Photo by Army Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle

AA Font size + Print

John W. Nicholson Jr., right, then the major general in command of the 82nd Airborne Division, walks with Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno at Fort Bragg, N.C., in this 2014 photo.

Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, an Army Ranger, will become the latest officer to lead the 14-year-old war.

President Barack Obama will nominate Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, an Army Ranger, to lead the remaining American forces in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

Nicholson’s nomination comes amid fresh reports that American troops might remain in Afghanistan for decades. All U.S. forces were supposed to leave the country by 2017.

The three-star general “knows what it means to lead a responsive and nimble force, and how to build the capacity of our partners to respond to immediate and long-term threats and remain adaptable to confront evolving challenges,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement read by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nicholson would receive a fourth star and replace Gen. John Campbell, who has led American forces in Afghanistan since August 2014. Nicholson would be the eighth general to fill the position since 2007.

Since joining the Army in 1983, the general has led airborne, Ranger, mechanized, Stryker and light infantry units. He commanded the 82nd Airborne Division and most recently led NATO’s allied land command. In Afghanistan, he served as chief of staff of operations for the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell for the Joint Staff and deputy commander of stability of ISAF Regional Command-South.

“I am confident that General Nicholson will build upon General Campbell’s hard work to secure a bright future for the Afghan people and help the government of Afghanistan strengthen a professional and capable security partner to the American people,” Carter said.

Just last month, Campbell told USA Today that the U.S. should hold off on reducing the number of troops from the 9,800 today to 5,500 by Jan. 1, 2017.

Campbell is said to be a candidate to lead U.S. Africa Command or U.S. European Command.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    View
  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    View
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.