|Updated: 26-Aug-2003||August 2003|
NATO up and running in Afghanistan
The headquarters, staffed by more than 600 soldiers from 15 NATO member countries, are responsible for the operational command of ISAF, which is providing security in and around Kabul.
“NATO has long experience in leading and sustaining peace-support operations, and that experience will be brought to bear here in Afghanistan, in support of ISAF and the Afghan National Authority,” said Deputy NATO Secretary General, Ambassador Minuto Rizzo at the transfer of command ceremony.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on 20 August, General Goetz Gliemeroth, NATO commander in Afghanistan, described the situation in the city as relatively secure.
First mission outside of Europe
He added that this landmark mission, the first outside of Europe in NATO’s history, is “active proof of the way in which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is adapting to meet the new challenges in today’s world.”
Neither ISAF’s name nor mission will change. The mission will continue to operate according to current and future UN resolutions. And under NATO’s leadership, it will continue to welcome contributions from non-NATO countries as well.
The transfer of command to NATO gives continuity in time to ISAF. NATO will now provide a continuing headquarters, force commander, strategic co-ordination, command and control, and political direction, delivering a much more sustainable security presence in Kabul.