NATO Assumes Command of the Peacekeeping Force in Afghanistan
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2003 During a change of command ceremony in Kabul today, NATO assumed strategic command, control and coordination of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The force had been under the leadership of Germany and the Netherlands.
A NATO press release stated this important event underscores the long- term commitment of all NATO allies to stability and security for the Afghan people.
NATO expressed gratitude for the outstanding German and Dutch contribution, officials said, and also thanked nations that have decided to contribute to ISAF under NATO's leadership.
ISAF's name and mission will not change. NATO will work within the same United Nations mandate as ISAF III and will operate according to current and future U.N. resolutions.
NATO's commitment to the ISAF mission is a reflection of the alliance's transformation agenda and resolve to address the new security challenges of the 21st century.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander U.S. Marine Gen. James Jones appointed German army Lt. Gen. Gtz Gliemeroth as ISAF commander and Canadian army Maj. Gen. Andrew Leslie as his deputy.
At the change of command ceremony in Kabul, NATO was represented by the deputy secretary general, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, and Jones, as well as other officials.
(Based on a NATO release.)