U.S., Afghan Forces Sign Special Operations Agreement

From an International Security Assistance Force News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 8, 2012 - An agreement signed here today begins a process for Afghan national security forces to take the lead on special operations in Afghanistan.

Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak signed a memorandum of understanding that means Afghan special operations units will lead the way in effectively targeting insurgents and ensures special operations will continue to be conducted with full respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty, law and constitution, officials said.

Allen said the agreement marks a significant milestone in the transition process agreed upon at NATO's November 2012 summit in Lisbon, Portugal. It continues advancement of sovereignty for the Afghan people and in the shared effort to formalize a long-term U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership, he added.

Along with an agreement signed last month that begins transitioning the Parwan detention facility to Afghan defense ministry control, today's memo "gives tangible expression" to the vision of a national community leaders council held in November 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," the general said. "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," he continued. "Together, we will realize this vision."

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