Acting NATO commander: “I can absolutely assure you that nothing will change”
The new and temporary head of the NATO ISAF mission in Kabul has a clear message in the wake of the firing of Gen. Stanley McChyrstal: Don’t worry, everything about the mission will stay exactly the same. That message, which British Lt. Gen. Nick Parker communicated through an interview with NATO television today, is meant ...
The new and temporary head of the NATO ISAF mission in Kabul has a clear message in the wake of the firing of Gen. Stanley McChyrstal: Don't worry, everything about the mission will stay exactly the same.
The new and temporary head of the NATO ISAF mission in Kabul has a clear message in the wake of the firing of Gen. Stanley McChyrstal: Don’t worry, everything about the mission will stay exactly the same.
That message, which British Lt. Gen. Nick Parker communicated through an interview with NATO television today, is meant to reassure local and international stakeholders that there won’t be disruptions in the complex ongoing operations by NATO forces. He also expressed sadness about the sudden ouster of General McChrystal, but echoed President’s Obama’s call to focus not on the drama, but on the job at hand.
"Nobody expected this to happen. We wouldn’t have planned it or chosen it, but it makes no difference," Parker said. "What we’re doing continues yesterday, today, tomorrow – there isn’t any change, so I think we want to be very careful about not making too much of something which is very sad, we all regret it, but nothing here has changed at all – we continue with our mission."
"But this is more than a man, this is about the mission and we all know that and there’s a group of people in Afghanistan who are completely committed to the NATO mission and we will not miss a beat and I can absolutely assure you that nothing will change."
Amb. Mark Sedwell, NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, echoed Parker’s contention that there will be no change in the strategy to following the change in leadership.
"That strategy remains the basis of the campaign and the campaign remains on course," he said.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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