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NATO Takes Over The Command Of Afghanistan

From a disappointed Associated Press:

NATO takes over eastern Afghanistan

By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO took over eastern Afghanistan from U.S.-led forces Thursday, assuming control of 12,000 American troops and extending its military role to the entire country.

The commander of the NATO-led force, British Gen. David Richards, who was promoted to a four-star general Thursday, called the move "historic" in a ceremony also attended by President Hamid Karzai and U.S. Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry.

The handover "illustrates the enduring commitment of NATO and its international partners to the future of this great country," said Richards, who now holds the British military's highest rank.

Richards all but guaranteed progress in Afghanistan's deteriorating security, joking that he would appear in front of a firing squad if the country isn't safer by the end of his command in February.

"If by next spring these improvements are not evident then I will be surrendering to whoever wants to put me up against a wall," he told reporters after the ceremony.

With about 12,000 troops, the U.S. is the biggest contributor to the 31,000-strong NATO mission. Britain has 5,200 troops and Germany has 2,750 troops in the 37-nation force…

Eikenberry said that consolidating the command under Richards streamlines western troops' effectiveness. It confines direct U.S. control to a single chief enclave: the sprawling American base at Bagram. Most air operations in the Afghan theater also remain under American oversight…

Now what will the left complain about in Afghanistan?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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