The Pentagon has denied that the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, is planning to quit by the end of the year.
The Times reported that the Pentagon was looking to replace Petraeus, who was appointed eight months ago.....But the Pentagon said that while it constantly reviewed rotations, particularly as a number of senior posts were about to fall vacant, no decision had been made about Petraeus....Petraeus is popular in the US, credited with first turning around Iraq and now, as head of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), helping to reverse Taliban gains in southern Afghanistan and bring a degree of stability.
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon spokesman, said: "Despite some sensational speculation by one of the London papers, I can assure you General Petraeus is not quitting as Isaf commander, but nor does he plan to stay in Afghanistan for ever....." Obviously he will rotate out at some point, but that point has not yet been determined and it will not occur any time soon. Until then, he will continue to ably lead our coalition forces in Afghanistan."
By the end of the year, Petraeus will have done 18 months, a normal rotation for the post, and he would be in the running for a more senior post back in the US.