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General Petraeus, A Prominent Wartime Commander


US General David Petraeus, the top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan during a meeting of the International Contact Group for Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 27, 2011

US General David Petraeus, the top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan during a meeting of the International Contact Group for Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 27, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama's pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, General David Petraeus, is a prominent wartime commander who has led the way for U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 58-year-old assumed command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in July of last year, after overseeing a wider region encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen for nearly two years as the head of U.S. Central Command.

Before that, General Petraeus commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, presiding over the 2007 surge in American troops under then-President George W. Bush. General Petraeus is widely credited with turning around the Iraq war and pulling the country back from the brink of a full-fledged sectarian conflict.

The four-star general also oversaw the development of the counterinsurgency manual for U.S. armed forces, which is the root of the Afghan war strategy.

President Obama has called General Petraeus one of the nation's "leading strategic thinkers" and one of the "finest military officers of all time."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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