October 18th, 2012
04:36 PM ET

Changing of guard for Africa command

By Joe Sterling

President Barack Obama will nominate a new leader for the Pentagon command in charge of Africa.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday the president is picking Gen. David Rodriguez to replace Gen. Carter Ham as head of the U.S. Africa Command.

Rodriguez is the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, responsible for the training, equipping and oversight of active duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers.

The choice comes during a turbulent time across the continent. Political turmoil rages in Libya, fighting continues to engulf the fractious state of Somalia, a militant presence has emerged in Mali, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has made its presence known in northern Africa, and sectarian strife plagues Nigeria.

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Filed under: Africa • Carter Ham • David Rodriguez • Military • US Africa Command