Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal received the Senate’s approval on June 10 to receive a fourth star and become the commander of US Forces Afghanistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. He will replace Army Gen. David McKiernan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last month decided he needed to put fresh eyes on Afghanistan operations as the US bulks up its forces in that country by 21,000 by October. McChrystal has been serving as director of the Joint Staff and has much experience commanding special operations forces. (For more, read yesterday’s AFPS report by Donna Miles.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.