The move is an admission that the war in Afghanistan is, at best, not being won. It is the first time a general in theatre has been relieved of his command since Douglas McArthur was during the Korean War. McKiernan will be replaced by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal.
McKiernan has been right about the need for more troops in Afghanistan. But he is, according to the judgement of those I respect on these matters, too conventional a general for this kind of war. McChrystal, who commanded US special ops in Iraq, is said to be keener on the Petraeus-pioneered counter-insurgency tactics that helped make the surge such a success in Iraq.