The US Senate has approved President Barack Obama's choice to lead US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
By voice vote, senators cleared the way for General Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the US Marine Corps, to take over in Afghanistan.
Gen Dunford, who has directed combat forces in Iraq, would replace Gen John Allen, the current commander who has been nominated to take charge in Europe.
Gen Allen's nomination is on hold as he is ensnared in the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus.
Gen Dunford takes charge at a critical time for Mr Obama and the military as they decide in the coming weeks the pace of drawing down the 66,000 US combat troops in Afghanistan. Dunford.