18 May 2007

PR# 2007-380

TF Spartan, UNAMA agree on successes

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan – The commander of ISAF’s Task Force Spartan met with members of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan to discuss the current counter-insurgency campaign here May 16.

“There are very few units that have been here that have accomplished as much as [Task Force Spartan],” said Chris Alexander, deputy special representative of the secretary-general for Afghanistan.

“From a year ago, I’d say we’ve definitely made some progress,” said Col. John Nicholson, commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Spartan.  The task force has been in Afghanistan working on counter-insurgency since January.

“We are here because this is a very important place, and because we are students in counter-insurgency,” Alexander added.

The UNAMA visitors learned what TF Spartan has done in the counter-insurgency realm—what has worked and what hasn’t.

“We tried to instil in our soldiers, from the beginning, respect for the Afghan people,” Nicholson said. “It doesn’t matter how remote the village is, they all want education, and that’s encouraging,” he said.

Leaders see signs that citizens are learning to trust their government, an indication that the hold of fear the Taliban have had in the past is starting to loosen, according to the task force’s operations officer, Maj. Steve Grabski.

“I think there is an increased consensus among the people that the police are an ally,” he said.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/