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American Forces Press Service

Obama Praises Nominees for Key Military Positions

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012 – President Barack Obama today announced his nominations for two key military leadership positions in Europe and Afghanistan.

The president is nominating Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen to serve as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to succeed Allen as commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

If confirmed, Allen would succeed Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, who will retire in the spring after three decades of service. Dunford currently serves as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. Both nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

For more than a year, Obama said, Allen has served with distinction in Afghanistan, guiding his forces through a critical period in the country’s transition.

The president noted his personal reliance on Allen’s counsel and lauded his devotion to national security and U.S. service members.

“Under General Allen’s command, we have made important progress towards our core goal of defeating al-Qaida and ensuring they can never return to a sovereign Afghanistan,” Obama said in a written statement. “Working with our Afghan partners and international civilians, the forces under General Allen’s command have moved forward with a transition to Afghan security forces, who will take the lead for security across the country next year.”

Obama noted that Allen’s leadership of the coalition in Afghanistan has required close relationships with NATO nations and other partners. “During his tenure in Afghanistan, General Allen established his credibility with our NATO allies and ISAF partners as a strong and effective military leader,” he said.

The president also thanked Stavridis for “his steadfast service on behalf of the United States and NATO.”

“He has played a critical role in helping to make NATO a stronger alliance and ensuring we have the capabilities and partnerships to meet the challenges of the next century,” Obama said.

In announcing Dunford’s nomination, the president said the general will assume command of ISAF with “very difficult work” remaining ahead.

“I have full confidence in his extensive experience, strategic leadership and vision,” Obama added. “If confirmed by the Senate, he will lead our forces through key milestones in our effort that will allow us to bring the war to a close responsibly as Afghanistan takes full responsibility for its security.”

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