NATO Secretary General on the ISAF Command handover

  • 18 Jul. 2011
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  • Press Release (2011) 093
  • Issued on 18 Jul. 2011
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  • Last updated: 18 Jul. 2011 11:59

I would like to thank General David Petraeus for the tremendous contribution he has made to our mission in Afghanistan.

General Petraeus took command of ISAF at a key moment. He oversaw the surge in international forces which took the fight to the insurgency, and prepared the ground for the transition to Afghan security lead. He leaves Afghanistan a stronger place than he found it. I thank him for his tireless commitment to our mission.

General John Allen will now take command of ISAF. When I met the General earlier this month, we agreed that we have the right strategy, and we have the determination to carry it through. I wish the General every success in his mission and I look forward to working closely with him in the coming months.

With the handover of Bamiyan province to Afghan security lead on Sunday, transition has now effectively begun. Afghanistan’s future is clear: a country led by Afghans, defended by Afghans and working for the benefit of Afghans. The insurgents may try and disrupt that process, but they cannot derail it.