WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the new commander of the Afghanistan war, and President Barack Obama swiftly issued a statement saying Petraeus had his "full confidence."
Petraeus replaces Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose three-decade career ended in disgrace because of inflammatory remarks he and his aides made to Rolling Stone magazine.
"Gen. Petraeus is a pivotal part of our effort to succeed in Afghanistan — and in our broader effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida — and he has my full confidence," Obama said in a statement shortly after the Senate's 99-0 vote.
Obama said the Senate's quick action and Petraeus' "unrivaled experience will ensure we do not miss a beat in our strategy to break the Taliban's momentum and build Afghan capacity."
As U.S. Central Command chief, Petraeus was McChrystal's boss and already overseeing operations in Afghanistan.
Petraeus won overwhelming praise from both Republicans and Democrats, despite their disagreements on the U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.
"For those who doubt the president's desire and commitment to succeed in Afghanistan, his nomination of Gen. Petraeus to run this war should cause them to think twice," said Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I know that Gen. Petraeus will do everything in his power to help us succeed in Afghanistan," McCain added.
Holder meets Afghan officials: United States Attorney General Eric Holder met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Attorney General Mohammed Ishaq Aloko and Justice Minister Habibullah Ghalib in Kabul on Wednesday amid rising concerns over the toll corruption is taking on the U.S.-led war effort. In brief remarks after the meetings, Holder lauded the Afghan government's recent efforts to fight corruption, the Washington Post reported.