Kabul, Afghanistan - Commander JFC Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina, was in Afghanistan on 27-29 August 2017; whilst there he visited the Headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) Mission and met with Mission commanders as well as Afghan Government and Security Force leaders.
This regular situational awareness trip commenced with a visit to Herat where General Farina met with the Train Assist and Advise Command - West (TAAC-W) Commander, Brigadier General Biagini, and Commander of the Afghan National Army 207th Corps, Major General Hedayat, before travelling to Kabul. In the capital city he attended a round table with Resolute Support Headquarters Staff before meeting with RS Commander, General John W. Nicholson. The two Generals agreed that although the security situation in the country is still challenging, with insurgents still active, the NATO Resolute Support train, advise and assist mission is ensuring Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) build an effective combat capability, which has already led them to achieve incremental progress through this year's campaign. Both Commanders emphasized the importance of Force Protection and the need to continue the mission with the flexible model which uses Expeditionary Advisory Packages in support of Afghan forces.
The positive reception afforded by President Ghani and other key Afghan leaders to the new US strategy in Afghanistan was touched upon, with General Farina underlining how the Alliance also welcomed the condition-based and comprehensive approach of the US. General Farina stressed that NATO Allies and partners remain fully committed to Afghanistan and emphasized that the commitment of the International Community, NATO Allies and partners requires continued support to deliver the further increase of capabilities for Afghan political and military authorities in order to improve leadership, fight corruption and finally allow the ANDSF to fulfil their tasks in a sustainable fashion. A stable and more secure country will allow the consolidation of progress and development whilst more capable Afghan security forces and institutions will make the insurgents understand that they can never win on the battle-field and therefore be open to dialogue.
Working "more together” – with the efforts of the International Community, NATO-led and US missions strongly tied to those of Afghan institutions - the country will never become again a safe haven for international terrorists.
Commander JFC Brunssum also met the Minister of Interior, Mr. Wais Ahmad Barmak, the Minister of Defence, Mr. Tariq Shah Bahrami, and the National Security Advisor, Mr. Mohammad Hanif Atmar, who reaffirmed their commitment to accountability for the common goal of a more secure and stable Afghanistan.
Further in his comprehensive agenda General Farina met with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann, and representatives of the diplomatic community in Kabul. Together they addressed the political situation, the challenges related to the parliamentary and district council elections next year, progress in the fields of anti-corruption & human rights, as well as initiatives to make the Kabul-based and Afghan-owned peace process more effective and successful.
Finally General Farina, on behalf of the NATO Secretary General, awarded General Nicholson with the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, emphasizing the RS Commander’s outstanding skills and qualities stating: "his expertise, leadership, commitment and excellent relations developed with the Afghan leadership are key to helping the Afghan security forces and institutions improve further and to the continuity of our mission”.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office