NPR logo

U.S. Hands Part of Afghanistan to NATO Control

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5595497/5595498" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
U.S. Hands Part of Afghanistan to NATO Control

World

U.S. Hands Part of Afghanistan to NATO Control

U.S. Hands Part of Afghanistan to NATO Control

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5595497/5595498" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

With a symbolic changing of flags, the command of troops in southern Afghanistan shifted from United States to NATO control Monday. NATO will now lead forces from 37 countries in six southern Afghan provinces. That area has seen a major resurgence of the Taliban — and the worst fighting since the Taliban was overthrown in 2001.

Melissa Block talks with the BBC's Alistair Leithead, who attended the ceremony at Kandahar Air Field. Leithead says that while the U.S. mission has mainly been to fight the insurgency, NATO forces will work to expand the goals, helping to bring development and better governance to the southern provinces.

Still, the challenge is daunting. "They're very lawless places," Leithead says, having been run by warlords for years.