Top Afghanistan Commander Gets A First-Hand Look

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The new top general in Afghanistan is touring the country in his first days on the job.

It's standard procedure for most new commanders, and General Stanley McChrystal is no exception

Brigadier General Richard Blanchette (REE'-shahrd blahn-SHEHT'), , NATO's top spokesman in Kabul, says McChrystal is very much in what he has called his "listening phase."

It's not just hearing from subordinates on the ground, but also telling them what he expects -- the focus is on preventing civilian casualties.

Blanchette says McChrystal will make that very clear, along with a pledge to review operations to avoid more civilian deaths.

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