I am proud to nominate General John Allen as the next Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of U.S. European Command. For more than a year, General Allen has served with distinction as the Commander of U.S. Forces and NATO International Security Assistances Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan, seeing us through a critical period in our military efforts and in Afghanistan’s transition. I have personally relied on his counsel and am grateful for his devotion to our national security and to the safety of the men and women with whom he serves. Under General Allen’s command, we have made important progress towards our core goal of defeating Al Qaeda and ensuring they can never return to a sovereign Afghanistan. Working with our Afghan partners and international civilians, the forces under General Allen’s command have moved forward with a transition to Afghan Security Forces, who will take the lead for security across the country next year.
Very difficult work remains ahead in Afghanistan and to lead those efforts for the United States and NATO-ISAF, I will nominate General Joseph Dunford as the new ISAF Commander (COMISAF). General Dunford currently serves as the Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and I have full confidence in his extensive experience, strategic leadership and vision. If confirmed by the Senate, he will lead our forces through key milestones in our effort that will allow us to bring the war to a close responsibly as Afghanistan takes full responsibility for its security.
If confirmed by the Senate, General Allen will replace Admiral Jim Stavridis as the SACEUR in the Spring. During his tenure in Afghanistan, General Allen established his credibility with our NATO allies and ISAF partners as a strong and effective military leader. I would also like to thank Admiral Stavridis for his steadfast service on behalf of the United States and NATO. He has played a critical role in helping to make NATO a stronger Alliance and ensuring we have the capabilities and partnerships to meet the challenges of the next century.