News / Asia

NATO Leaders Commit to Afghan Transition

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference after the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 21,
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference after the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 21,
CHICAGO -   Leaders of the 28 NATO countries ended their summit in Chicago on Monday, pledging an "irreversible" commitment to transition in Afghanistan.  The leaders committed to greater efficiencies, while reaffirming the alliance's defense commitments.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai sat with NATO leaders and representatives of other nations whose support Afghanistan will need if it is to move from war to stability. NATO leaders formally approved the plan to transfer lead responsibility for combat operations to Afghan security forces by the middle of next year.

U.S. President Barack Obama said this is part of a road map to wind down the war and move toward the planned withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.  

"This will not mark the end of Afghanistan's challenges, obviously, or our partnership with that important country.  But we are making substantial progress against our core objective of defeating al-Qaida and denying it safe haven, and helping Afghans to stand on their own," Obama said.

NATO Leaders Commit to Afghan Transitioni
|| 0:00:00
X
Dan Robinson
May 22, 2012 11:10 AM
Leaders of the 28 NATO countries ended their summit in Chicago on Monday, pledging an "irreversible" commitment to transition in Afghanistan. As VOA's Dan Robinson reports from Chicago, the leaders committed to greater efficiencies, while reaffirming the alliance's defense commitments.

NATO is gathering commitments to pay for long-term training of Afghanistan's military.  Annual costs after 2014 are put at a little more than $4 billion and will be reviewed regularly based on the security situation.

President Obama had a brief discussion with President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan who was invited to Chicago by NATO.  Obama said he believes there has been progress in resolving tensions over NATO supply routes that Pakistan closed last year.

Despite what he called "real improvement" in removing Taliban strongholds, President Obama called the gains in Afghanistan "fragile."  But he said the strategy eventually will allow the United States to direct resources to investments needed at home.

"Whereby we can achieve a stable Afghanistan that won't be perfect, we can pull back our troops in a responsible way, and we can start rebuilding America and start making some of the massive investments we made in Afghanistan, here back home," the president said.

NATO also made decisions to ensure the alliance's viability and its capability to respond to future threats in difficult economic times.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that includes a commitment to "smart defense" strategies and resource sharing.  

"We have decided to invest smartly in our defense, even in times of austerity, and we have engaged with our partners around the world to address the challenges we all face in the 21st century," he said.

Reporters asked President Obama about the demonstrations by various groups in his hometown that at times turned violent. That is part of what America is about, he said, thanking city residents for enduring traffic jams and drawing laughter when he said this:

"Despite being 15 minutes away from my house, nobody would let me go home.  I was thinking I would be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.  They said I would cause even worse traffic, so I ended up staying in a hotel -- which contributes to the Chicago economy," Obama said.

The NATO summit capped four days of high-level diplomacy, including Obama's hosting of the G8 summit at Camp David, Maryland.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
May 22, 2012 8:30 AM
@jerry
you country did a lot of mistakes & these mistakes are not from now or fresh. but these were a long term in the past. America done a job before they think & finally they groan to mistakes. they never accepted whom had rights to build a country? whom had rights to take the power obsolve the problems. as today millions of million people ask from their government about their bloods & $ 2 trillion


by: Jerry from: Texas
May 22, 2012 7:55 AM
So Presidents Obama's war will have no winner, we have paid dearly with blood, we support a corrupt government, dis liked by its people, and is the largest opium producer in the world. Which we will support for years with our tax dollars. Not a lot to celebrate in my opinion, but then who cares what a taxpayer wants any way.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid