Robert Gates announced today that he is firing General David McKiernan, our top commander in Afghanistan:
The abruptness of the move was an indication of the gravity of the decision. General McKiernan had served in his current command for only 11 months, while such tours are usually two years or more.
Defense officials said that General McKiernan was being replaced because of what they described as a conventional approach to what has become one of the most complicated military challenges in American history. He is to be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, a former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command who recently ran all special operations in Iraq.
Presumably, David Petraeus was behind this decision. Right? Coincidentally, BruceR, recently back from Afghanistan himself, has a few thoughts about what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong there, and it sounds like he endorses the general idea that we need a more nonconventional approach. More later on this, I’m sure.
UPDATE: More here from James Joyner.