The United States has announced appointment of a new commander of its forces in Afghanistan as it now starts sending an additional 21,000 troops to this war-torn country to fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
"Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal would replace General David McKiernan as the head of US and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan," US Defense Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
McChrystal would have to be confirmed by the Senate before he could take charge of the new position, till then McKiernan would remain the commander of US and ISAF in Afghanistan.
"McKiernan was asked to resign," Gates told reporters at a Pentagon press conference.
Both the White House and the Defense Department said the changes in the top US military leadership has been taken in view of the new Af-Pak policy.
"This change of direction in Afghanistan in no way diminishes the President's deep respect for General McKiernan and his decades of public service," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.