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Petraeus Says Afghan Security Situation 'Tenuous'


General David Petraeus

General David Petraeus

General David Petraeus has warned U.S. lawmakers that Afghanistan's security situation is "tenuous."

U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Petraeus to command U.S. and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan after the former commander, General Stanley McChrystal, was dismissed last week.

McChrystal was recalled to Washington after criticizing top U.S. officials in a magazine article, and has since announced his retirement from the U.S. Army.

Petraeus, who previously led the U.S. war in Iraq, told lawmakers during Senate confirmation hearings in Washington today that the offensive in southern Afghanistan was decisive.

"We are now increasing our focus on Kandahar Province, an area of considerable importance to the Taliban. We are working hard to ensure that our operations there are based on a strong, integrated, civil-military, and Afghan-international approach to security, governance, and development," Petraeus said. "So-called shaping operations, including a high tempo of targeted special forces operations, have been ongoing for some months."

Petraeus also said he would review the military's rules of engagement, which have come under intense criticism amid rising civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and voiced support for Obama's plan to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July 2011.

compiled from Reuters reports
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