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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > April

NATO's Takeover of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
April 18, 2003

The United States welcomes the announcement that NATO will take over direction of the International Security Assistance Force beginning in August. This step will provide continuity for the Force, which has been performing a vital role in maintaining stability in Kabul.

I am confident that NATO will run this operation as professionally as it has run the successful peacekeeping mandates in Bosnia and Kosovo. This will be NATO's first significant military operation outside of Europe in its history, and is a sign of the alliance’s new direction and emphasis on confronting the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction from wherever they come.

The United States will continue its strong support for the Force, whose mandate has been extended by the UN Security Council through December of this year. For more than a year, the Force has performed a superb job of maintaining a stable and secure environment in Kabul under British, then Turkish and now German/Dutch control. We have welcomed the international support for the Force. I am pleased that there continues to be broad support for the efforts to stabilize Afghanistan as part of the Global War against Terrorism.


Released on April 18, 2003

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