Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. testifies Nov. 15 before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington during a nomination hearing to be the next commander of the International Security Assistance Force and to be commander, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan. (Thomas Brown / Staff)
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WASHINGTON The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved President Obama's choice to be the top commander in Afghanistan.
By voice vote Thursday, the panel cleared the way for the full Senate to vote on Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps who had directed combat forces in Iraq.
Dunford would replace Gen. John Allen, the current commander in Afghanistan who has been nominated to take charge in Europe.
Allen's nomination is suddenly on hold as he's ensnared in the sex scandal that had led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus.