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NEW YORK — A career military officer who is set to retire soon from the Army has been tapped to become the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Friday.

Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry has served in Afghanistan twice, including an 18-month tour that ended in 2007, and knows the issues facing the troubled country and the players well.

An Obama administration official spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity because Eikenberry’s appointment had not been made public.

According to the Times, the general has consistently spotted problems in Afghanistan early and issued some of the first warnings about a resurgent Taliban. He also championed building a strong Afghan army to combat the Taliban, a top priority for the White House.

Eikenberry has also warned repeatedly that the U.S. cannot win in Afghanistan and defeat global terrorism without doing something about al-Qaida fighters holed up in neighboring Pakistan.

Pentagon announces AF officer assignmentsThe Pentagon late Friday announced two general officer assignments for the Air Force.

Maj. Gen. Stephen P. Mueller, director of operational capability requirements and deputy chief of staff, operations, plans and requirements at headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon has been assigned to director, Air Component Coordination Element, Air Combat Command, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. David J. Scott, deputy commander, Combined Air Operations Center 7, Component Command-Air Izmir, Allied Command Operations (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Larissa, Greece, has been assigned as Mueller’s replacement at the Pentagon.

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