NATO can't build perfect Afghan state

LUXEMBOURG, May 17 (UPI) -- NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told an assembly meeting Friday in Luxembourg that the alliance wasn't tasked with building a perfect Afghan state.

NATO forces are preparing to shift engagement positions in Afghanistan from combat to training as national forces take security responsibilities next year.


Rasmussen told a NATO parliamentary meeting that Afghan forces are in charge of most security operations in the country.

"Afghan forces are getting stronger. And they are getting ready for more," he said.

Rasmussen pledged to continue supporting Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline but cautioned that commitment wasn't one-sided. Afghanistan needs to do its part to ensure it can enforce the rule of law through improved governance.

"NATO's job is not to build a perfect state," he said. "We went to Afghanistan to protect our security by helping Afghans take control of their own security."

NATO's engagement stretches back to 2001 when U.S. forces led the invasion in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Afghan and U.S. governments are negotiating a defense agreement that will spell out military engagements beyond 2014.


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