From NATO: [N]ations are backing up their words with deeds. At least 25 countries have announced that they will send more forces to the mission in 2010. They have offered around 7,000 new forces, with more to come. Counting the US contribution, that means ISAF will have at least 37,000 more soldiers in 2010 than it did this year. That is solidarity in action, and it will have a powerful effect on the ground.”

Excerpt from Statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting with non-NATO ISAF Contributing Nations.

From Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who held one-on-one talks with Rasmussen, said the United States was seeking a range of help, including civilian assistance and military training, to prepare Afghanistan to take charge of its own destiny.

But she reassured allies that their commitment would not need to be open-ended.

“The need for additional forces is urgent, but their presence will not be indefinite,” she said, noting that Obama’s timeline called for Afghans to begin taking over in July 2011.

“At that time, we will begin to transfer authority and responsibility to Afghan security forces, removing combat forces from Afghanistan over time with the assurance that Afghanistan’s future, and ours, is secure,” Clinton said.

From the AP: U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Europe, said in an Associated Press interview during a break in the talks that he believes several thousand non-U.S. troops may be contributed next year, in addition to the 7,000 cited by Fogh Rasmussen.

“What we are all underlining to potential troop contributors is that we are truly asking for emphasis in the training area,” Stavridis said. “And what I’m hearing is that we’ll get very good responses.” (photo: NATO)