Topping General Petraeus' to-do list in the Afghanistan war: Making his own counterinsurgency strategy work in Afghanistan where General McChrystal could not.
After replacing Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan, President Obama can use this opportunity to explain his current thinking about the trade-off between containing the war's costs and his goal of leaving no safe-haven for al Qaeda.
While the strategy remains the same, will the deft touch of General Petraeus reorient key relationships among leaders in Afghanistan?
Gen. David Petraeus is likely to win Senate confirmation as the top US commander in Afghanistan. But the hearing could reopen a debate on strategy, especially the 2011 planned troop drawdown.
Gen. David Petraeus, who replaced ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is a widely respected officer who wrote the Army's counterinsurgency manual and helped craft US policy in Afghanistan.
People stand around a campfire during the Ivana Kupala festival in the village of Viazynka, Belarus, late Tuesday evening. The ancient tradition, originating from pagan times, is usually marked with grand overnight festivities which includes jumping over burning campfires and bathing in a lake or a river. Some people believe the acts will purge them of their sins and make them healthier.
Facing a challenge to his leadership and to civilian control of the military, President Obama replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus as top commander in Afghanistan.
Gen. Benedict Arnold, 1780: This infamous Revolutionary War general became synonymous with treason when he tried to hand over his command post, the American fort at West Point, N.Y., to the British. After the plot was exposed, Arnold joined the British Army as a brigadier general. Arnold is seen here in a copy of an engraving by John Trumbull made in 1879.
By replacing McChrystal with Petraeus, the president keeps someone in charge of the Afghanistan war who already knows its ins and outs -- and he reinforces his own image as a strong commander-in-chief.
McChrystal will be replaced with Gen. David Petraeus.