U.S. Gen. McChrystal Takes Command in Afghanistan

By: AP
By: AP

The new head of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan says the people of Afghanistan are the mission.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a four-star American general with a long history in special operations, took charge Monday. The Pentagon hopes the change of command will turn the tide with a less conventional approach to an increasingly violent eight-year war.

McChrystal took command from Gen. David McKiernan during a low-key ceremony at the heavily fortified headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in central Kabul. McKiernan was fired last month, one year into a two-year assignment.

He says Afghanistan's people must be protected from violence, "whatever its nature," while respecting religion and traditions.

McChrystal vows that "while operating with care, we will not be timid."

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