NATO has assumed command of 12,000 U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan, completing the alliance's hold on security throughout the country.
NATO now commands international forces across the country and its capital, Kabul. It is the organization's largest operation.
The ceremony marking the transfer of command was held in Kabul Thursday. U.S. and NATO commanders as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai attended.
President Karzai thanked his allies for their help in battling terrorism.
The commander of NATO's Afghan force, British General David Richards, said the unity of command the transfer brought will enhance the effectiveness of the overall operation. Referring to the fight in southern Afghanistan since NATO took command there in July, Richards said the NATO force has shown its resolve to meet the challenges of its expanded mission.
Richards was promoted to four-star general hours before the command change.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters