General Petraeus Officially Takes Command Of Afghanistan

Less than two weeks after Rolling Stone published its bombshell article on General Stanley McChrystal — and simultaneously a media agonistes — General David Petraeus has formally taken over as commander of the war Afghanistan at a time when “almost every phase of the war is going badly.” Reports Dexter Filkins in the New York Times:

In Iraq, General Petraeus orchestrated a profound shift in American strategy. Here, he is presiding over a plan that he helped devise. Indeed, for all the furor over the article that cost General McChrystal his job, it spelled out no policy differences between him and President Obama.

“My assumption of command represents a change in personnel, not a change in policy or strategy,” he said.

And not, General Petraeus said, an end to the American commitment here any time soon. With senior Afghan leaders looking on, General Petraeus reaffirmed his conviction that success here would likely take much longer than the July 2011 date set by President Obama to begin to withdrawal of American forces.

“We are committed to a sustained effort to help the people of this country over the long term,” the general said. “Neither you nor the insurgents nor our partners in the region should doubt that.”

You can watch CNN’s report on the “subdued” ceremony below.

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