NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with US President Barack Obama, November 7, 2011

From NATO:  The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Washington on 7 November to meet President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and members of the Senate to review NATO-led operations and prepare for the Chicago summit next May.

They agreed that the Libya operation was a great success. The Secretary General said, "European nations and Canada led the strike operations. The US provided unique and critical assets. Partners from the Arab world and beyond joined us from the start. And NATO’s command structure merged all this into one successful team."

Mr Rasmussen also highlighted progress in Afghanistan, which will be a major point on the summit agenda. "Transition to Afghan security lead is on track," the Secretary General said. "At our upcoming summit in Chicago we will decide how to support Afghanistan throughout transition and beyond."

The Secretary General said Chicago will be a crucial summit at a crucial time. "We have to ensure NATO is fit to face future security challenges while we deal with current economic challenges. No nation can do it alone. Either we all cooperate more or we’ll be able to defend less." The way ahead, he said, is Smart Defence – a smarter way to spend scarce resources by focusing on multinational approaches.   (photo: NATO)