New CIA chief Petraeus hands over command in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, center, the commander of…

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, center, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, talks with Royal Marines Lt. Col. Ewen Murchison, the commander of 42 Commando, at Forward Operating Base Wahid in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 30, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory VanderSchans/Released)

U.S. General David Petraeus, Washington’s new intelligence chief, handed over command of U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan on Monday, a day after a tentative start was made to a gradual process of transferring security to Afghan forces.

Petraeus, credited with reversing a spiral toward civil war in Iraq, took over in Afghanistan on July 4, 2010, and is leaving the military to take over as director of the Central Intelligence Agency as part of a wider shake-up of senior U.S. security officials.

Petraeus oversaw a “surge” of 30,000 extra U.S. forces which helped stop the momentum of a growing insurgency, especially in the Taliban heartland in the south.

However, despite gains in violent southern provinces during Petraeus’ year in charge, the Taliban-led insurgency is still far from quelled.

Source: Paul Tait for Reuters.

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