RealNews

NATO Takes Over Afghan Peacekeeping Force

NATO took command of the 5,000-strong international peacekeeping force in the Afghan capital on Monday, a historic move that marks the alliance’s first operation outside Europe since it was created 54 years ago. The alliance took over from Germany and the Netherlands, which have jointly led the International Security Assistance Force, known as ISAF, since Feb. 10. “ISAF’s name and mission will not change,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Alessandro Minuto Rizzo. “But what will change as of today is the level of commitment and capability NATO provides.” The outgoing commander, German Lt. Gen. Norbert van Heyst, handed over control during a formal ceremony in an auditorium inside the capital’s Amani High School. The new commander, NATO Lt. Gen. Gotz Gliemeroth, who is also from Germany, accepted a green flag from Van Heyst to mark the change. Gliemeroth’s deputy will be Canadian Maj. Gen. Andrew Leslie. Full Story

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