In this file photo provided by NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan, an Afghan National Army soldier takes a break from training to visit with curious children from the outskirts of Kabul. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recently announced implementation of the fourth stage of security transition, in line with the transition process established at the Lisbon Summit. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Quillen)
KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 21, 2012) — The International Security Assistance Force congratulates the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the announcement of the fourth stage of security transition. This is in line with the transition process established at the Lisbon Summit.
“President Karzai’s announcement of the fourth group of provinces to enter Transition is another historic step for Afghanistan as it gets closer to taking full responsibility for security of the entire country,” said Gen. John R. Allen, the ISAF commander. “With the addition of these 12 full provinces to the transition process, Afghan National Security Forces are now taking the security lead in areas where 87 percent of the Afghan people live.”
The announcement of Tranche Four sets the stage for the implementation of the fifth tranche. During the summer of 2013, it is expected that all parts of Afghanistan will have begun transition and the Afghan forces will be in the lead for security nation-wide.
Twenty-three of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces are now entirely in the transition process. The 12 provinces added in Tranche Four are mostly in the north and interior of the country. In addition, one district in Helmand is included in this transition announcement.
NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems recognized that the progress made in professionalism and confidence by the Afghan National Security Forces has allowed the transition strategy to succeed.
Speaking about NATO and ISAF’s commitment to Afghanistan, Ambassador Jochems said, “ISAF will continue to support the Afghan National Security Forces until the end of 2014 and after that NATO and its partners remain committed to Afghanistan’s future stability through a new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces.”