Former 101st Airborne commander now top commander in Middle East - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former 101st Airborne commander now top commander in Middle East

The Senate has confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the top commander in the Middle East. The vote was 95-2.

Immediately following the confirmation, the Senate was expected to approve the nomination of Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as the chief military officer in Iraq.

Last year, Petraeus helped to tame growing opposition to the Iraq war in Congress by providing measured assessments of progress and warning that an exodus of U.S. troops would result in chaos. In the meantime, he advocated a buildup of some 30,000 troops in Baghdad and other hot spots, which eventually proved vital in tamping down violence.

Odierno, who implemented much of the strategy as Petraeus' deputy in Iraq, is slated to receive a fourth star as part of his promotion.

Petraeus served as commander of the Fort Campbell Kentucky-based 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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