KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The job of commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan is starting to seem like it's cursed. At least, that's the joke around international military headquarters in Kabul.
The last four U.S. generals to run the Afghan war were either forced to resign or saw their careers tainted by allegations of wrongdoing.
The first was Gen. David McKiernan, who was forced out in May of 2009 -- a year before his term as commander was supposed to end. Robert Gates, who was defense secretary at the time, wanted him out as President Barack Obama launched a counter-insurgency strategy that aimed to weaken the Taliban's influence on the population.
He was replaced by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who came in with a mandate to remake the war effort with the help of "surge" troops. But he only lasted 13 months. In June of 2010, there was a Rolling Stone article that quoted scathing remarks he and his aides made about their civilian bosses, including Vice President Joseph Biden. Obama called McChrystal back to Washington and forced him to resign.
Gen. David Petraeus took over the Afghan command, and after serving for one year, he became CIA director. He resigned last week because of an extramarital affair.
And the man who succeeded him, Gen. John Allen, is under investigation for what were called "inappropriate communications" with a second woman involved in the Petraeus case. His nomination to the top U.S. military post in Europe is on hold.
Gen. Joseph Dunford has already been chosen to succeed Allen -- if he still wants the job.
APPHOTO NY110: This combination of file photos from 2008-2012 shows, top row from left, Gens. David McKiernan, Stanley A. McChrystal, bottom row from left, David Petraeus and John Allen in Afghanistan. The four U.S. generals led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan since 2008. (AP Photo) (13 Nov 2012)
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