police - AP - August 5, 2010
Palestinian police officer. Photo by AP
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Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, has finished his tenure and returned to the United States.

Dayton served for the past five years in a role whose primary function was to rebuild the Palestinian security forces, and especially the National Security Service, which is essentially the PA's army.

Dayton, 61, apparently plans to retire from the U.S. Army following a 40-year-career during which he achieved the rank of three-star general. He is widely expected to move on to a career in academia.

His replacement, who is already in Israel, is Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, a former U.S. Air Force B-52 pilot who until recently was responsible for strategic planning at CENTCOM, the U.S. military's Central Command.

Dayton was widely applauded for rebuilding the National Security Service. Under his command, 3,100 members of the Palestinian security forces were trained in Jordan. The forces' capabilities were significantly upgraded, for which Dayton and his staff were credited.

Hamas has gone as far as to describe the PA security forces as the "Dayton Forces."