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The General Who Planned The Afghanistan Surge Is Heading To Africa

•, Agence France Pres
 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday nominated a former senior commander in Afghanistan as the new head of the military's Africa Command, which oversees US security efforts on the continent.

The change in leadership comes amid growing concerns over Al-Qaeda's affiliates in the region, particularly in Mali, and a deadly attack on a US consulate in Libya linked to Islamist extremists.

Panetta said General David Rodriguez, who served as the deputy American commander in Afghanistan and helped plan the "surge" of additional troops in the war, was well-suited to the post.

As chief of the NATO-led force's joint command, Rodriguez "oversaw the coalition and Afghan forces during the surge, and was a key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing," Panetta told a news conference.

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