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Obama to Urge NATO Support For Afghan Strategy


U.S. President Barack Obama joins other NATO leaders Friday on the French-German border for a summit marking the 60th anniversary of the alliance. He will seek support for his new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

The new strategy is the result of an intense review, and long hours of consultation with NATO allies.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says now that the review is complete, the implementation process is beginning.

She says the next step is to match up needs in Afghanistan with resources individual NATO members can provide.

"The NATO summit is not a pledging conference, but of course we will be talking about how our allies can match their resources to the needs identified in the strategic review," she said.

Those resources are not necessarily combat troops. During a conference call with reporters covering the president's trip to Europe, Clinton stressed the need for military trainers to work with the Afghan armed forces and police.

"I think we're trying to focus on what we think will work, and what we believe will work is moving as quickly as it feasible to having security taken over by the Afghans themselves," she said.

Clinton, who attended an Afghanistan donor's conference in the Hague on Tuesday, also stressed the need for financial support for military and civilian operations.

White House National Security Advisor Jim Jones, speaking during the same conference call, stressed the Obama administration is mixing military, diplomatic and development elements in its Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

Jones, a retired Marine Corps General, previously served as NATO's supreme allied commander. He said there is a new feeling among alliance members that they must work together when it comes to Afghanistan.

"Having been at NATO and having been around since 2003 working on Afghanistan, I can tell you that there is a new spirit and there's a new feeling, and now we - we'll know shortly exactly what that transmits to in terms of offerings," he said.

Jones said the signs are encouraging. He said NATO members are gratified that their views were taken into account by President Obama. Summing up their response he said simply, it's a new day

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