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

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid