U.S. Army General Scott Miller assumed command of NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, and took over from Army Gen. John Nicholson, who after more than two years in charge, had been the longest-serving U.S. commander of the 17-year war.
“To be successful, we must continually learn and adapt to the enemy and the environment,” Miller said at a change of command ceremony at the headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul.
“There is no room for status quo. We cannot afford to be complacent.”
Gen. Miller pledged he would ensure Afghanistan would not become a safe haven for terrorists during the ceremony.
General Nicholson, who commanded the Resolute Support Mission for two and a half years, said all the nations involved in Resolute Support support the peace process: “These nations are here on a conditions basis, not a calendar. Peace in Afghanistan is in everyone’s best interest. It not only ends the suffering of the Afghan people. Peace in Afghanistan makes the entire world safer.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “I’m looking forward to working closely with General Miller as the new Commander of our Resolute Support Mission, and I thank General Nicholson for his outstanding service.” He stressed that “NATO remains committed to supporting Afghan security forces as they create the conditions for lasting security and peace.”
The United States is now a year into its strategy of stepping up pressure on the Taliban by increasing airstrikes and sending thousands more troops to train and advise Afghan forces, but clear signs of success have so far proved elusive.