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NATO reveals new command structure in Southern Afghanistan

In a radical restructuring of its military command in southern Afghanistan, NATO said on Monday it had split the country’s most violent region in half in a bid to improve security by focusing on smaller geographical areas.

Although the shake-up had been planned for many months, Monday’s announcement marked the official start of a new Regional Command Southwest (RC-SW), reflecting the influx of thousands of new U.S. troops into the region.

The move comes as more than 20,000 foreign and Afghan troops prepare to push the Taliban out of their spiritual heartland in southern Kandahar province in a series of operations expected to last several months.

The bulk of President Barack Obama’s 30,000 U.S. reinforcements pledged in December will be stationed in the violent south as part of U.S. and NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal’s strategy to focus on the insurgents’ strongholds.

Full story: NATO reveals new command structure in Southern Afghanistan | Reuters