With New Control, General to Focus on Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took command of both the American and the international military missions in Afghanistan in a traditional handoff ceremony on Sunday, becoming the 15th general to lead the international command here — and he is expected to be its last.
It falls to General Dunford, who led the Fifth Marine Regiment at the start of the Iraq war, to manage the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 troops, about 68,000 of them American, and a vast amount of equipment and cargo from a landlocked country still at war with the Taliban.
General Dunford, a native of Boston, has served in a number of senior posts including, most recently, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. He spent his first several days in Afghanistan sitting at General Allen’s elbow in meetings, saying little as he learned his new job, said Western officials who attended meetings with him. They described him as more of a “regular Joe” than General Allen, but similarly focused and flexible.
He has a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
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