Nato names US Gen John Allen as new supreme commander

US Marine Gen John Allen (C) the top commander of US and coalition troops in Afghanistan (Sept 2012) Gen Allen has led the Nato campaign in Afghanistan since July 2011

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Nato has appointed US General John Allen as its new Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

He will be replaced as US commander of international forces in Afghanistan by Joseph Dunford, who is currently US Marine Corps deputy commander.

Gen Allen has led the Nato campaign in Afghanistan since July 2011.

He was nominated for the new Nato role by US President Barack Obama and is expected to begin work in spring 2013, pending approval by the US Senate.

Gen Allen played a key role in countering the Iraq insurgency between 2006 and 2008. He then oversaw a surge in US troops in Afghanistan in battling the Taliban.

In Afghanistan, Gen Allen commanded coalition troops from 50 different countries, which commentators say gives him the experience to deal with the often sensitive and conflicting wishes of Nato's 28 member states and 22 partners.

Some 68,000 US troops currently make up the majority of the 100,000-strong coalition force.

The Afghan army is taking on increasing responsibility for security ahead of the end of Nato's combat mission in 2014.

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