KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- NATO took command of peacekeeping in the Afghan capital Monday, CNN reports.
NATO took over the 5,000-strong International Security Assistance Force from Germany and the Netherlands, who have led it since February this year. It is the alliance's first operation outside Europe since it was formed 54 years ago.
A spokesman said the move will bring more continuity to the mission and end the rotation of commanders from a "lead nation" every six months.
About 90 percent of the troops in the 30-nation force are from NATO countries.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, German Defense Minister Peter Struck, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Gen. James L. Jones, diplomats and United Nations officials attended the handover ceremony at a school.
"Afghanistan must not lapse back into anarchy and chaos and must not again become the home of global terror, as was the case under the rule of the Taliban," Struck said.