Monday, June 15, 2009

OEF Update, June 15, 2009: General McChrystal Assumes Command in Afghanistan

Dispatches from the Front
News from Afghanistan.

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 15, 2009 -- U.S Army General Stanley A. McChrystal arrived in Afghanistan yesterday to assume Command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Gen. McChrystal will lead the international community’s efforts to bring security to Afghanistan, in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), to create the conditions for governance, reconstruction and development to flourish.

Gen. McChrystal commented that intelligence-driven precision operations, subordinate to efforts protecting development projects and Afghanistan’s population, will win the support of the Afghan people. “The measure of effectiveness will not be (the number of) enemy killed, it will be the number of Afghans shielded from violence,” he said.

Gen. McChrystal entered the Army in 1976, graduating with a Bachelors Degree from the US Military Academy at West Point. He also holds Masters degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College, and in International Relations from the Salve Regina University. He is also a Senior Service College Fellow of Harvard University and a Military Fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.

During his early career, Gen. McChrystal served in Airborne, Special Forces, and Ranger units. After command and staff courses, he saw service in Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM in Operations Command and regimental appointments.

He then served as Assistant Divisional Commander (Operations) of the 82nd Airborne Division, and the Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps, including duty in Afghanistan as the COS of CJTF-180 on Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in 2002.

Gen. McChrystal was the Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Staff in Washington DC before assuming command of the Joint Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg. He has just left his position as the Director of the Joint Staff in Washington DC to assume command here at HQ ISAF.

ISAF was created in accordance with the Bonn Conference in December 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime. NATO took command of ISAF in August 2003 and is NATO’s first mission outside the Euro-Atlantic area. ISAF operates under a United Nations mandate to support, and at the invitation of, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and works in close cooperation with the International Community, Non-Governmental Organisations and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Today, ISAF consists of approximately 65,000 troops from 42 countries, including non-NATO members.

(Report from an International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan news release.)

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