World

March 18, 2013

NATO Secretary General discusses progress in Afghanistan

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Though setbacks may happen, real progress is taking place in Afghanistan, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels March 18.

In a news conference at NATO headquarters, Rasmussen discussed a recent trip to Afghanistanís Helmand province, once a Taliban stronghold, to visit International Security Assistance Force service members and meet with Afghan officials.

Rasmussen said he saw a significant shift from NATO control and operations to Afghan forces in charge of security.

The Afghan army and police are in charge of three quarters of the province, he added. ìThey are already conducting nearly all the security operations. ISAFís role has already shifted to training, advising and assisting.

Rasmussen stressed that in places such as Helmand, Afghan forces ìare doing the job.

Now, the challenge for NATO and partner nations shifts from doing the mission to sustaining the effort, he said. That means providing the training they need in leadership,î he told reporters. ìThat means specialized skills such as logistics, management and maintenance.

The ISAF mission ends at the end of 2014, and Rasmussen acknowledged that the mission will not be easy. There will be hard fighting. There will be casualties, and there may be setbacks,î he said. ìBut already Afghanistanís forces are stronger than they have been at any other moment in history. They will continue to grow stronger, more effective and more experienced. And we are determined to support them through 2014 and beyond.

Security is just one aspect of progress in the country, he noted. Local governments are taking hold in Helmand, the secretary general said, and elected district councils are investing funds in development.

This is the Afghan peopleís chance to take control of their security and to take control of their destiny, he added. ìI believe, and the Afghans with whom I spoke believe, that this is a chance which they must seize.
In the Afghan capital of Kabul, Rasmussen said, he met with young Afghans who are committed to a democratic and stable country.

A new generation has emerged in Afghanistan,î he said. ìThis young generation wants a new way of life, not a return to the dark days of the past. The Afghan people have tasted freedom and seen what progress can bring. In the future, the enemies of Afghanistan must not only fight a strong Afghan army, they will also have to fight the aspirations of the Afghan people toward freedom, peace and prosperity.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>