The International Security Assistance Force Joint Command on Monday ceremonially ended its combat mission in Afghanistan.
A ceremony in Kabul, attended by senior military commanders, marked the end to the 13-year NATO campaign against Taliban insurgents and their allies.
ISAF Commander Gen. John F. Campbell told participants of the event that NATO’s role would shift to training and supporting the Afghan security forces at the end of 2014.
Approved by NATO foreign ministers and representatives of allied nations in Brussels last week, the new mission will commence from January 1, 2015.
Campbell hailed Afghan security personnel as a capable force, but said: "They need to make some changes in leadership which they're doing."
Afghan army, police and local police had the ability to defend their motherland and provide security across the country, the top US general believed.
Casualties among Afghan forces rose by 6.5 percent this year to 4,634 killed in action, compared with 4,350 in 2013. Over the past 13 years, 3,500 foreign forces, including 2,210 Americans, have lost their lives in Afghanistan.
"Today, IJC will be subsumed into a coalition that is soon downsizing to about 13,000 personnel," said. Campbell. "This is a historic transformation and reflects the progress that our coalition has made with our Afghan partners.”
Since its founding in 2009, IJC served as NATO’s Operational Headquarters in Afghanistan. IJC’s mission was to conduct population-centric operations to neutralise the insurgency and support improved governance and development.
The NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission will focus on training, advising and assisting Afghan security Institutions and ANSF at the ministerial, institutional and operational levels.