Mon, Sep

Nicholson Steps Into Campbell's Shoes As NATO Chief In Afghanistan


Nicholson-RS-new-commanderThe U.S Army Gen. John F. Campbell handed over the command of both Resolute Support and U.S forces in Afghanistan after 18 months to U.S Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr. in a ceremony at Resolute Support Headquarters on Wednesday in Kabul.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanikzai, Pakistan's Chief of Army Raheel Sharif and other officials were present at the event.
Campbell spent 18 months as the senior NATO commander in Afghanistan and at the end of 2014, Campbell oversaw the transition from the ISAF mission to the Resolute Support Mission.
"Today is not about change but about continuity, the continuity of our commitment to Afghanistan. We ask ourselves everyday what more can we do for Afghanistan and what more we can help them to do for themselves. These simple questions are at the heart of what we do," Campbell said.
Nicholson will command about 12,000 coalition personnel assigned to the Resolute Support Mission. He comes to the job after serving as the commander of NATO's Allied Land Command based in Izmir, Turkey.
"I am not going to say much about our enemies today. I will have a lot to say about them in the future. My short message today is this: I know you. You have brought only hardship and suffering to the Afghan people. It is the people of Afghanistan that I wish to focus on today. They are the real heroes of this conflict," Nicholson said.
U.S officials also emphasized that Afghanistan has an important role in the region's stability therefore much effort should be made to maintain law-and-order in the country.
Meanwhile, Afghan acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanikzai said Afghans are the real victims of terrorism and that the international community should continue its support to Afghanistan.
"We are all struggling together to make things better, to defeat terrorism. Afghan people are in the far front of this struggle," he said.
Around 9,800 American troops are engaged in the training and advising of Afghan forces and conducting a counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.