U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate Army General Lloyd Austin, who oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, to lead the regional command that includes Afghanistan and the Middle East, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
Austin, who now serves as vice chief of staff of the Army, would serve as commander of Central Command based in Tampa, Florida. The four-star general would replace outgoing Marine General James Mattis.
"During his final deployment to Iraq, General Austin led our military efforts at a particularly important time, overseeing the drawdown of US forces and equipment while simultaneously helping to ensure that hard-fought security gains were preserved and that Iraqis could secure and govern themselves," Panetta said in a statement.
Austin served three times in Iraq, first leading the 3rd Infantry Division at the beginning of the war, and also commanded troops in Afghanistan.
The US plans to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but is in talks about continuing cooperation for the next decade.
Most Popular Stories
- Major Phone Makers Sign Anti-Phone-Theft Pledge
- India Recognizes Transgender People as 'Third Gender'
- 'Beige Book' Federal Reserve Survey, April 2014: Full Text
- Brands Get Caught in Bitter-Tweet Traps
- Yellen Remarks, Market Data Give Stocks a Boost
- Michael Bloomberg Takes Aim at the NRA
- U.S. Job Market Still Needs Fed Stimulus: Yellen
- Dems in Energy States Back Away From Obama
- Is This Job Too Good to Be True?
- Man Arrested After Driving Stolen Car to Court Hearing