LONDON – US war commander General David Petraeus will leave his post as chief of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan before the end of the year, the Times newspaper reported Wednesday.
US President Barack Obama plans to replace Petraeus, who was only appointed eight months ago, as part of a broad reorganisation of senior US officials in Afghanistan, according to the British paper.
“General Petraeus is doing a brilliant job but he’s been going virtually non-stop since 9/11 (and) he can’t do it for ever,” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, told the newspaper.
“This is a heck of a demanding job, he will have to be rotated out at some point,” he added.
Morrell said that Obama and Defence Secretary Robert Gates were “already thinking about that.”
As part of the restructuring, Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul and four other top diplomats will return home, the paper claimed.
Marc Grossman was earlier this week appointed as Obama’s special envoy to the region, and has been tasked with repairing US-Pakistani relations.
Petraeus took up his current position in June last year when Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal for making unflattering remarks during an interview.