20 September 2012

GEN Rodriguez to AFRICOM?

What would his potential assignment to AFRICOM do to how the US approaches missions on the continent?

Gen. David M. Rodriguez, a former top Army commander in Afghanistan, has been chosen by the Pentagon to take charge of the military’s Africa Command, which in the wake of the Arab Spring has become one of the Defense Department’s most challenging theaters of operation.

Under plans that still need formal approval from the White House and confirmation by the Senate, General Rodriguez, who is now head of the Army’s Forces Command, which trains and equips troops, would take over early next year from Gen. Carter Ham in what two American officials said was a routine change of command.

Because of the presidential election and the need to get the necessary paperwork ready, General Rodriguez’s expected nomination would probably not go to the Senate for confirmation until the postelection session, the officials said. In his current job, General Rodriguez, whose troops call him General Rod, is responsible for training and equipping 265,000 active-duty soldiers, as well as training and overseeing the readiness of 560,000 soldiers in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

But the general, a West Point graduate, also has extensive combat experience. He served two tours in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan, including a stint in eastern Afghanistan as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and later as deputy commander of allied forces there with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the war.

General Rodriguez was one of the architects of the operation in which President Obama ordered an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in late 2009.

By: Brant

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