NATO aims to start Afghan handover early next year

Press briefing by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, October 11, 2010.

From David Brunnstrom, Reuters:  NATO allies are expected to endorse a plan next month to start transferring security responsibility in Afghanistan to Afghan forces at the start of next year or by July at the latest, the head of NATO said on Monday.

Alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he expected the NATO summit in Lisbon would also endorse Afghan President Hamid Karzai‘s aim for Afghan forces to take responsibility for security all over the country by 2014. …

"I would expect an announcement at the summit in Lisbon that transition to lead Afghan responsibility is about to start at the beginning of 2011; at the latest by July 2011," he told a news conference.

"We will work on the basis of that road map. Obviously the whole transition process must be based on conditions," he said, emphasizing the need to boost NATO’s effort to train the size of the Afghan police and army to 300,000 personnel by October next year.

"Provided we make progress as regards security, I find this road map realistic," he said. …

The head of NATO’s training mission warned last month that NATO would not meet the targets unless allies provided hundreds more specialist instructors.  (photo: NATO)

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