NATO has significantly changed its military strategy in Southern Afghanistan since the alliance-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deployed into the region in 2006. Dutch Major General Mart de Kruif told Radio Netherlands that rather than massive offensives against the Taliban, as was the case in the early days, ISAF now plans major operations that include strong elements of local governance and reconstruction.
During the past twelve months, General Mart de Kruif was commander of ISAF’s ‘Regional Command (South)’, which covers the six southern provinces of Afghanistan. In four of those, ISAF has a troop presence. On Sunday, the Dutch general handed over the command to his British successor, Major General Nick Carter. The southern regional command of ISAF comprises some 40 thousand soldiers, half of them from the U.S. In terms of numbers and responsibilities, it has been by far the most challenging assignment any Dutch general has had over the past decades.
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