Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .




THE STANS
NATO chief vows not to abandon Afghanistan
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) June 13, 2012


NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen Wednesday vowed not to abandon Afghanistan as foreign nations plan to transition forces out of the country after a decade of conflict.

"We will not abandon Afghanistan, we will not leave behind a security vacuum," he told a National Press Club lunch in Canberra.

NATO plans to withdraw its 130,000 troops by the end of 2014, and Rasmussen said there would also be a likely political transition as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to step down at the next election, due the same year.

"Yes, we would expect President Karzai to abide by the Afghan constitution which... doesn't allow him to run again for president," he said.

Secretary General Rasmussen said the international community had a "common interest in and a common responsibility" to see the decade-long intervention in Afghanistan through to a successful end.

He said he understood impatience regarding the conflict in which foreign troops have been helping Afghans fight an insurgency by hardline Taliban militants, saying people "want to see the light at the end of the tunnel".

"People want to see progress, so do I," he said, adding that foreign forces had deployed to Afghanistan to prevent the country from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists from which to launch attacks.

"Despite this impatience, all ISAF coalition partners have decided to stay committed, to see this operation though to a successful end. And that's encouraging despite the economic crisis and declining public support."

The NATO plan is to progressively hand control for security in the country to Afghan forces, and Rasmussen said he was confident they would be up to the task even as some nations accelerated their drawdowns.

"There may be partners, may be allies, who will reduce their troops' presence during the transition period but they have declared they will stay committed throughout the transition until the end of 2014," he said.

"All 50 nations within our ISAF (the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force) coalition have sent the clear message 'in together, out together', and that's a basic principle."

France has announced it will withdraw combat troops by the end of 2012, while Australia has also accelerated the exit of its 1,550-strong force, but both nations have said they will continue to contribute to the overall mission.

"You will see troops reduction and you will see a gradual change of the role of our troops from combat to more and more focus on support, but don't misinterpret it as a rush for the exit," Rasmussen said.

"It's actually part of the strategy that we actually hand over.

"I feel confident that by the end of 2014 the Afghan security forces will be able to take full responsibility for security."

Rasmussen said the timing of the next presidential election, which coincides with the pull-out of foreign troops, had been raised publicly by Karzai, who has suggested the vote could possibly take place a year earlier.

"It's for him to decide," Rasmussen said of Karzai, who was re-elected in a second post-Taliban poll in 2009 amid allegations of widespread voting irregularities.

"But let me stress we will of course, ISAF will of course, be prepared to ensure that elections can take place within a secure environment, also if elections take place in 2014."

Foreign troops have been in Afghanistan since a US-led coalition toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001 for sheltering Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.

.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





THE STANS
Pakistan judges say ex-envoy asked US to curb army
Islamabad (AFP) June 12, 2012
Pakistan's ex-ambassador to Washington was summoned by the country's top court on Tuesday as judges concluded he sought US help to curb the power of the military after Osama bin Laden's death. A judicial commission set up by the Supreme Court has spent six months investigating an unsigned document received in May 2011 by the then US top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, just days after ... read more


THE STANS
Missile defense system for Europe and potential threat to Russia

Rafael seeks to boost range of Iron Dome

Lockheed Martin Delivers Core Structure for Fourth SBIRS Satellite

NATO activates missile shield, reaches out to Russia

THE STANS
Javelin Missile Proves New Capability during Vehicle-Launched Norwegian Tests

Lockheed Martin Partners With Turkey For PAC 3 Missile Canister Production

US Navy awards Raytheon $338 million for Tomahawk

Israel 'to evacuate Tel Aviv' in event of missile attack

THE STANS
Sagem tests UAV, announces contract

Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Orders AeroVironment Puma AE and Wasp Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Chavez reveals Venezuela has built first drone

US drone kills three militants in Pakistan: officials

THE STANS
Raytheon receives contract to link Navy Multiband Terminal to USAF's Polar Satellite

Raytheon receives $79 million award for US Navy Multiband Terminal systems

Northrop Grumman Completes CDR For Integrated Air And Missile Defense Battle Command System

ASC Signal Introduces Redundancy Technology For Seamless Switching of Antenna Systems

THE STANS
NTU researchers study little mighty creature for scientific breakthrough

Corruption causes Cold War arms to still kill in Bulgaria

US Marines fire Excalibur from record range in Afghanistan

Canada to spend $600 million on new armor

THE STANS
Saudi, Japan deals drive record US arms sales

Defense industries face $100B less orders

China, US smash international arms trafficking ring

Britain axes hundreds of Gurkhas in new round of cuts

THE STANS
Commentary: Fame or shame?

India 'lynchpin' for US strategy in Asia: Panetta

British army to rely on allies, reservists as cuts bite

China, Russia vow to tighten UN partnership

THE STANS
Self-assembling nanocubes for next generation antennas and lenses

Researchers watch tiny living machines self-assemble

'Nanocable' could be big boon for energy storage

Researchers love triangles




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement