Obama nominates new U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander

Obama nominates new U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander

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In Jan. 2011, Lt. Gen. Shir Mohammad Karimi, General Chief of Staff of Operations for the Afghan National Army, congratulates then newly-promoted Maj. Gen. John "Mick" Nicholson after affixing his two-star rank to his uniform. (Photo: Flick / ResoluteSupportMedia)

If confirmed by the Senate, Army Lt. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson, a seasoned veteran of the Afghanistan war, will replace Army Gen. John Campbell as the commander of the U.S. mission there.

This article has been updated, 27 Jan. 2016 5:45 PM.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Talk Media News) – As the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, President Barack Obama has chosen Army Lt. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson to take over the the U.S. military mission there, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nicholson, a seasoned veteran of the Afghanistan war, will replace Army Gen. John Campbell in the role.

“He knows what It means to lead a responsive and nimble force and have it build a 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, including the Nicholson is “an accomplished solider with significant command experience.”

Nicholson currently serves as the commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command in Turkey. If and when he is approved for the role, he will to be promoted to a four-star, Cook said.

Campbell has led the U.S. mission in Afghanistan since August 2014. Cook did not say what Campbell will move on to, although the Associated Press reported that he will retire.

“For nearly 18 months, Gen. Campbell has given his all to the mission as our top commander in Afghanistan, and his personal sacrifices on behalf of his troops and the Afghan people will be remembered by us all,” Carter said.

Nicholson will take over at a time when the power of extremist groups in the country appears to be rising, and the U.S. is slated to draw down troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of this year.

The administration has said repeatedly that the draw down plan is flexible and will change with recommendations by commanders on the ground.

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