KABUL, Afghanistan - The American general who led the ground invasion of Iraq took command of the 40-nation NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan today.

Army Gen. David McKiernan has took charge of the 51,000-member International Security Assistance Force from Gen. Dan McNeill, who will retire from the U.S. army after 40 years.

Addressing a change of command ceremony Tuesday, McKiernan said he was "honoured to walk alongside our Afghan brothers."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed McKiernan to the country.

He asked McKiernan and other military commanders to continue to equip and train Afghan security forces so the country can eventually stand on its own.

McKiernan, whose previous assignment was as commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, inherits the largest ISAF force since the international military partnership was created in 2001.