Britain sought to quell the dispute by insisting it would lead the force and command it, with British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon telling the UK parliament: "If the UK's offer to be lead nation
is accepted, the UK will exercise command of the international security assistance force".
German Interior Minister Otto Schily told journalists that while the UK is the lead nation
in Afghanistan on drugs, Germany also has a role through its efforts to improve policing there.
"Germany, being the lead nation
of Regional Command North (RC-North), decided to strengthen civil reconstruction efforts and extend its commitment in northern Afghanistan, leading to the opening of PAT, which symbolizes a major step toward the planned diversification of the civil military concept," said a statement from ISAF.
He said: "Our task as the lead nation
ends in August this year."
Multinational operations are conducted by forces of two or more nations usually under the formal agreement (for example, a treaty) of an alliance, an ad hoc lead nation
coalition, or an intergovernmental organization.
Ambassador Vershbow highlighted the leadership role that Bulgaria already plays in the programme and commended each lead nation
for their ongoing efforts.
She wanted to lead nation
from the front and once she made up her mind nothing could stop her, he said.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow led a signing ceremony on Thursday (26 September 2013) recognising Bulgaria as the sixth lead nation
in the Building Integrity Trust Fund, which is to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in the defence and security sector.