NATO praises U.S. review on Afghanistan

Dec. 16, 2010 at 4:22 PM
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BRUSSELS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Washington's review of the so-called AfPak strategy shows there is notable progress in Afghanistan, the NATO secretary-general said in a statement Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday there was "significant progress" made in Afghanistan since he rolled out his war plan last December.

He added, however, that the war "continues to be a very difficult endeavor."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement released Thursday that the regional strategy was "sound" and supported with adequate resources.

"Now we have to consolidate those gains and make them irreversible," he said. "This is a challenging task but we are determined to see it through."

The Obama administration poured thousands of troops into Afghanistan in a plan meant to give the Kabul government room to grow. Rasmussen said training Afghan forces was vital to that mission, noting the Afghans would take the lead by 2014.

Obama stressed that Pakistan and regional players must do more to prevent Afghanistan from slipping back into militants' hands.

"We are there because our own security depends upon it," added Rasmussen.

A five-page summary of the classified report on Washington's strategy shows that Obama intends to keep U.S. forces in place through 2014, though some could leave the country as early as next year.

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