Afghan military needs strong leadership, general says

March 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 5 (UPI) -- Afghanistan needs "strong management and leadership" as it prepares to meet its future national security needs, a general said from Azerbaijan.

High-ranking Afghan officials met in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday to attend a workshop on national strategic planning. Afghan Maj. Gen. Mohammed Qasem Wardak said in a statement the seminar comes at a "decisive stage" for his country.

"We are in need of strong management and leadership, starting with the civilian oversight of the armed forces," he said.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said last week reluctance from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign security agreements could jeopardize the country's future. Afghanistan may be on its own without the necessary legal framework, the secretary-general said.

U.S. and international forces are weighing their options for a military role in Afghanistan beyond next year. Afghan forces are taking on more responsibility for national security as their international counterparts stand down.

Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Azar Azimov said hosting the workshop was "timely, because Afghanistan will take control of security in 2014."

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