NATO reviews mission in Afghanistan

April 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM
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BRUSSELS, April 25 (UPI) -- NATO must "stay the course" in its commitment to Afghanistan once Afghan forces take over security by the end of 2014, an alliance official said in Brussels.

Danish army Gen. Knud Bartels, chairman of the alliance's military committee, said NATO must carry on the work outlined during the November 2010 summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where alliance members agreed that Afghan forces would have security responsibility in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the U.S. Defense Department said Wednesday in a release.

The next summit, scheduled in Chicago in May, will set NATO's course in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

"What is important now is that we must stay the course in accordance with the Lisbon strategy," Bartels said. "In this respect, the Chicago summit provides an excellent platform on which NATO will express its commitment to Afghanistan's future and commit to the delivery of sustainable success."

The plan remains on track despite recent challenges, including a series of coordinated attacks in Kabul, Bartels said.

"Our servicemen and -women working alongside their partners in the Afghan national security forces continue to do a superb job," he said. "Their personal sacrifice and commitment is a credit the nations of the coalition."

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is participating in the two-day conference in Brussels as part of an overseas trip that has included stops in Jordan and Afghanistan.

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