A ceremony at mission headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, recently commemorated the change in command from General John ”Mick” Nicholson to General Austin Scott Miller.
Miller will oversee NATO’s and its operational partners’ efforts to develop effective and sustainable Afghan security forces and institutions with advising, assisting and training. The mission will be sustained through 2024.
Nicholson commanded the mission for two and a half years. He stressed peace was in the best interest of the Afghans and the world and urged the Taliban to accept a cease-fire offer and renewed peace negotiations.
“We must enable our Afghan partners in building their security and military capacity so that they are able to deny safe havens to terrorists in a long-term, and sustainable way,” Miller said at the ceremony. “Forty-one (the number of NATO Allies and partners). That number sticks with me. It’s powerful and I want to recognize NATO and the operational partners for building and sustaining such an inspiring team.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Nicholson for his service and said he was looking forward to working with Miller.
The Taliban controls several districts in the country after recently experiencing a resurgence.
The ceremony also was attended by foreign ambassadors and senior Afghan officials.