US General David Petraeus has formally taken command of the 40 nation NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
Petraeus was ushered in with a low-key military ceremony in Kabul – and told the assembled dignitaries that his appointment signified a change of command, not of strategy.
There are those who say that the arrival of the man credited with turning the tide in Iraq is not before time.
With 102 personnel killed, June was the worst month for foreign troops in Afghanistan.
The US Senate has approved billions of dollars for a troop surge it hopes will turn the tide.
It entails tackling the Taliban in the south while relying on the authorities to develop and strengthen local services.