Pentagon recommends new Afghan commander to White House

Allen is expected to leave his ISAF post in Afghanistan early next year for a job at NATO.

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Allen is currently overseeing the drawdown of 23,000 U.S. surge troops from Afghanistan, which will leave 68,000 U.S. troops in the fall.

Allen has said that he will begin crafting a plan for the United States to draw down the 68,000 troops after the surge troops depart. The Obama administration has not signaled yet how quickly it intends to draw down the remaining troops ahead of its plan to hand off security control to the Afghans in 2014, which will be one of the chief issues Allen’s successor will have to address.

NATO forces are currently tasked with training Afghan forces to be prepared for the security handoff, as well as the plan to give Afghan forces the lead in combat operations in 2013. 

That job has been complicated in recent months amid a spike in “green-on-blue” attacks by Afghan soldiers and policemen on NATO troops.