US Defense Secretary Robert Gates named General James Mattis on Thursday as the new head of US Central Command, or CENTCOM, which has overall control of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mattis, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, replaces General David Petraeus.
Gates had to immediately defend an on-camera 2005 interview in which the general said:
"You go into Afghanistan; you've got guys who slap around women for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway, so it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."