KABUL, Afghanistan – The incoming No. 2 American commander Afghanistan says his immediate focus is on supporting Afghan elections — not on the possibility of U.S. troops remaining after the NATO-led combat mission ends.
At a Saturday ceremony in Kabul, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley handed over International Security Assistance Force Joint Command to Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson.
It was the last such ceremony for the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, whose mandate expires at the end of 2014.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has delayed signing a deal that would allow some U.S. forces to remain in the country, which Anderson said Saturday gives him a "little bit of pause" but is ultimately a "longer term issue."
He said the April 5 election and early summer fighting season have more immediacy.