Dan K. McNeill was a four-star general in the United States Army. He served as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from February 1, 2007 to June 3, 2008. He also served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command from 2004 to 2007.
According to Eurasianet, GEN McNeill opposed the local ceasefires and economic development programs that had been favored by the outgoing NATO commander British General David Richards. The attempted targeting of Taliban commander Abdul Ghafour, through aerial bombardment, on February 4, 2007, was seen as a sign of the policy changes McNeill wanted to introduce.
Officials in several European countries have quietly expressed concern about placing an American general in charge of the NATO force. Richards tried to create a less harsh, more economic-development-oriented identity for NATO in Afghanistan, as compared to the "kicking-down-doors" image that US forces have. Many local analysts expect NATO forces to embrace a more aggressive stance under McNeill, who is believed to oppose the type of local peace arrangements that Richards promoted. The danger at this point is that an overly aggressive NATO force in Afghanistan could alienate Afghans, and thus cause the Taliban’s support base to grow.