Updated: 05-Oct-2006 IMS News Release

5 Oct. 2006


NATO's top officer comments
on expansion of ISAF operations

5 October 2006

18/06/2004 - NATO
Statement by the Secretary General on expansion of NATO’s operation in Afghanistan

"It makes perfect military sense to enlarge the ISAF theatre of operations to the whole of Afghanistan at this time," said General Ray Henault, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and the Alliance's top military officer. "Incorporating these approximately 12,000 US forces into ISAF will provide for greater continuity of command, additional flexibility to the commander on the ground, and a more focused overall effort."

"Having one stability operation will make it easier for the national, provincial and local levels of the Afghanistan government - and the international agencies and NGOs - to liaise and work with NATO Alliance forces on training, reconstruction and development tasks ," added General Henault. "It will also provide important lessons learned for use in the training and preparation of future rotations in Afghanistan".

"While the resources associated with this final expansion of ISAF will be adequate to deal with the security situation in Eastern Afghanistan the Commanders on the ground still need the resources they were promised by the NATO nations 18 months ago when the Alliance decided to expand into Southern Afghanistan”, stated General Henault. “Furthermore, the stabilization effort in Afghanistan could be achieved more effectively if the nations were to lift their restrictions, or caveats, on their troops in order to give the ISAF Commander greater flexibility to move forces to where the opposing militants are impeding the reconstruction effort".

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