The commander of International Security Assistance Force, Regional Command Southwest (RC-SW), Major General John A. Toolan Jr., joined the Atlantic Council on April 23 for a conversation moderated by Barry Pavel, director of the Council’s Program on International Security.

Last April the Atlantic Council hosted Maj Gen Richard Mills, then the returning RC-SW commander. One year later his successor Maj Gen Toolan visited the Council to provide an update on the current operations in that complex area of operation in Afghanistan, as NATO leaders gather next month in Chicago to assess progress and plan next steps in Afghanistan. 

Since taking command in March 2011, MajGen Toolan has led Marines and coalition forces as they support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) efforts in Afghanistan to provide an environment in which Afghans can foster a stable and prosperous country. Over the last several months, the Marines under his command have transitioned the cities of Marjah and Nawa in Helmand Province to Afghan control, an indication of the progress that has been made. MajGen Toolan has worked closely with Helmand Gov. Gulab Mangal and other Afghan officials to promote greater security and development throughout the province. 

Prior to his assignment as the commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and RC-SW, Major General Toolan served as the division commander of 2nd Marine Division, as deputy commander US Forces Japan, and principal director for Asia/Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.  As a colonel, he commanded Regimental Combat Team-1 during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II.


The Commanders Series is generously supported by Saab North America. 

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