KABUL - Afghanistan's defense minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak said Monday he hopes U.S. Gen. David Petraeus will temper calls for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces in Petraeus' new role of CIA director. The Afghan official says the general's "unmatched experiences and knowledge of the ground realities" should counterbalance what he calls "shortsighted" groups in the U.S. He says a premature drawdown and exit strategy will jeopardize everything that's been achieved in the 10-year war.
Petraeus handed over command of the international forces to Marine Gen. John Allen today. Allen says he wants to keep up the momentum of the campaign. But he says there will be tough days ahead and he has "no illusions about the challenges." (AP)