17 years into the US War in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Scott Miller has arrived in the country to take over control of the US-led occupation, replacing outgoing Gen. John Nicholson. Miller is the 17th commander to lead the war.
Gen. Miller has been participating in the war in Afghanistan from the beginning. He was present during the 2001 US invasion, then at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was among the forces sent during President Obama’s escalation of the Afghan War, as a brigadier general. Now, he’s a full general, commanding the longest war in American history.
Miller talked of adjustments to be made, but gave no suggestions that he’s going to make any serious changes. This likely means he’ll follow the historic trend of taking over, promising a review of policy, offering nominal changes and quickly falling out of favor, only to be replaced by the next commander.
Gen. John Nicholson followed that trend to a tee. Now that he’s leaving, he says it is “time for this war in Afghanistan to end.” Such a comment would’ve had more impact when he was actually in charge. Instead, he spent his time in charge talking up how the war was winnable.