The top US general in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has been relieved of his command after making disparaging remarks about President Barack Obama and his officials in a magazine article.
Mr Obama has chosen General David Petraeus, head of the US Central Command, to replace General McChrystal, who was summoned from Kabul to Washington to explain his remarks in the Rolling Stone profile.
Mr Obama had been described by aides as furious about the article, but said a news conference on Wednesday that he was not acting out of a feeling of personal insult.
He said General McChrystal's conduct did not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general.
A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he had hoped for another result but respected Mr Obama's decision and looked forward to working with his replacement.
Calling the appointment of General Petraeus a good one, New Zealand Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says it's intended to signal that there has not been a sudden reversal of plans or strategy in Afghanistan.