News / Asia

NATO to Transfer Security Tasks to Afghan Government

Multimedia

NATO officials say Afghanistan will likely face security threats for years to come, but say alliance forces are making enough progress to begin transferring security responsibilities to the Afghan government this year.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen describes Afghanistan's security situation as challenging, but says the alliance has momentum and is holding increasingly more territory.  He says NATO's pullout from that country will be a gradual process.

"It will not be a run for the exit," he said.  "What will happen is that we hand over lead responsibility to the Afghans, and our soldiers will then move into a more supportive role.  But I foresee that the Afghan security forces will need our supportive assistance for quite some time," he added.

Rasmussen expects transfer of responsibility to the Afghan government to begin this year. 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said much of the NATO ministerial discussion  focused on training Afghan security forces.   She too, however, cautioned that Afghanistan will face security threats for years to come if insurgents do not give up their commitment to terror.

"I don't think we should expect the Afghans to meet an impossible standard, but what we can expect and what we are working toward achieving is an Afghan national security force, military and police that is able to protect the people and create a sense of confidence in their capacity," said Clinton.

NATO has had difficulty finding 450 more people for its training force.  Secretary Clinton expressed confidence they will be found among the allies.

Clinton and Rasmussen say the alliance also seeks greater cooperation with Russia.  They include  terrorism, illegal drugs and piracy.  He also urges Russia to join NATO in deployment of a common and more efficient missile defense shield that would protect the Euro-Atlantic region from Vancouver, British Colombia  to Vladivostok, Russia.  He  said Russia can provide facilities for such a project.

"We should initiate a transparent process, a process in which we consult with Russia," he said.  "Obviously, at the end of the day, it's for NATO to take decisions on a NATO missile defense system, but what ministers agreed at this meeting was to initiate a dialogue with Russia."

The alliance Thursday granted its Membership Action Plan to Bosnia Herzegovina, a move that could lead to full membership.  But the Balkan country must fulfill certain conditions for safeguarding its ammunition and arms.  Also Thursday, Secretary Clinton ruled out early withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, a decision supported by NATO's newest members - former Soviet satellite countries.

NATO will continue its search for a 21st century strategy during its Lisbon summit in November.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid