Sunday, April 8, 2012

USFOR-A, Afghanistan sign memorandum of understanding on special operations

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gen. John R. Allen, commander of United States Forces - Afganistan and Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak today "shoulder-to-shoulder" signed an agreement on the process by which Afghan National Security Forces will take the lead on special operations, a critical security responsibility in Afghanistan.

The memorandum means Afghan special operation units will lead the way in effectively targeting insurgents and ensures special operations will continue to be conducted with full respect for Afghan sovereignty, Afghan law and the Afghan constitution.

Allen said the agreement marks a significant milestone in the progress of the Lisbon-based transition process, in the advancement of sovereignty for the people of Afghanistan and in teh shared effort to formalize a long-term U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership document.

"In conjunction with the detention memorandum we signed last month, today's MOU gives tangible expression to the vision of the Afghan Loya Jirga and to the will of the Afghan people," Allen said. "The Afghan special operations units have developed at extraordinary speed and are manned by courageous and capable operators.

"In large measure, this MOU is a result of the professionalism of the National Directorate of Security and the Afghan National Security Forces. We also recognize the growing capacity of the Afghan judicial system, which will play a vital part not only in the implementation of this agreement but also in the lives of Afghan citizens.

"Today we are one important step closer to our shared goal of a secure and sovereign Afghanistan. Together we will realize this vision," he concluded.

The 50-nation NATO coalition of ISAF continues its work alongside ANSF to halt acts of terror and build an enhanced security environment to promote peace and stability throughout Afghanistan.

(Click here for a copy of the memorandum )

(Gen. Allen's as-delivered remarks )

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