Some corners of the blogosphere are making a big deal of this (paywalled) Times of London report that Gen. David Petraeus is on his way out of Afghanistan:
General David Petraeus, the most celebrated American soldier of his generation, is to leave his post as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan. The Times can reveal that the Pentagon aims to replace General Petraeus, who was appointed less than eight months ago, by the end of the year. Sources have confirmed that the search for a new commander in Kabul is under way.
But did you catch that “by the end of the year” bit? We’re halfway through February. And if true, I should hope the administration is already looking for a replacement. It’s a tall order.
UPDATE: We have this on the record from Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell:
“Despite some sensational speculation by one of the London papers, I can assure you General Petraeus is not quitting as ISAF commander, but nor does he plan to stay in Afghanistan forever. Obviously he will rotate out at some point, but that point has not yet been determined and it will not occur anytime soon. Until then, he will continue to ably lead our coalition forces in Afghanistan.”
Just about what I thought. General Petraeus ain’t going anywhere any time soon.