Afghanistan commander wraps up Wash. state trip



JOINT BASE LEWIS McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. commander in charge of day-to-day operations in Afghanistan is wrapping up a three-day visit to Joint Base Lewis McChord, where he’s been working with the man who will replace him this summer.

Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez departs Friday morning. He has been working with the top soldier at Lewis-McChord, Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, to ensure a smooth transition as Scaparrotti takes the helm of the the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command under Gen. David Petraeus.

Rodriguez and Scaparrotti sat down Thursday afternoon for an interview with reporters from The Associated Press, The Seattle Times and The News Tribune of Tacoma. Rodriguez said that as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan between this summer and 2014, they can expect more attacks targeting Afghan political leaders from insurgents seeking to destabilize the country. But Rodriguez and Scaparrotti both say that Afghan forces are becoming more capable of responding to and preventing such attacks.

About 700 troops from Lewis-McChord will be deploying to Afghanistan this summer.