The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved Gen. David Petraeus's nomination to be the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. It goes next to the full Senate for a vote, expected next week.
Petraeus, who was architect of the successful Iraq "Surge" will replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted by President Obama last week.
NPR's Jackie Northam reports that committee members "plied Petraeus with praise and only gentle questioning during his confirmation hearing."
"Members gently prodded Petraeus about how he saw progress in the war effort. Petraeus says he would look hard at the current rules of engagement that limit U.S. firepower and airstrikes in order protect civilians," Northam said.
Petraeus reassured some skeptical senators by stressing that the Obama administration plan to begin bringing home troops in July 2011 wasn't a rush to the exit. But the general did warn that hard fighting remains and that it will take years before Afghan security forces can go it alone.