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Petraeus confirmed as Afghanistan boss

Gen. David Petraeus has been approved by a Senate committee to become the next U.S. commander in the Afghanistan war.

Gen. David Petraeus has been approved by a Senate committee to become the next U.S. commander in the Afghanistan war.

The armed services committee's vote paves the way for his swift confirmation by the full Senate.

Republicans and Democrats alike praised Petraeus during a hearing Tuesday, during which Petraeus pledged to co-operate with his civilian bosses.

Although he was expected to easily pass his confirmation, Petraeus had to convince politicians that he can make military gains in Afghanistan and patch up the relationship between the military leadership and political heads.

Gen. David Petraeus, in Washington on Tuesday to testify before the Senate armed services committee hearing to take control of forces in Afghanistan. ((J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press))

President Barack Obama picked Petraeus to head the war effort in Afghanistan after dropping Gen. Stanley McChrystal last week.

McChrystal, who recently filed his retirement papers, was dumped following an explosive article in Rolling Stone magazine in which he was critical of the Obama administration.

Petraeus is expected to continue McChrystal's strategy of building up troops in Afghanistan while limiting use of firepower to gain local support. McChrystal's plan is largely based on Petraeus's own counter-insurgency ideas.

"As I noted in my testimony before this committee two weeks ago, I was part of the process that helped formulate the president's strategy for Afghanistan, and I support and agree with his new policy," Petraeus told the politicians.

"During this development, I offered my forthright military advice and I have assured the president that I will do the same as we conduct assessments over the course of the months ahead," he said.

Petraeus told legislators that U.S. commitment to Afghanistan is "enduring." He also said it will be years before Afghan security forces can fully take control of their country.

Obama has set July 2011 as a deadline to start bringing some U.S. troops back from Afghanistan.

With files from The Associated Press