From Reuters: The head of NATO urged member states on Thursday to step up efforts to train and equip Afghan forces, warning that inaction would have serious consequences…

“We all have to achieve more in training and equipping the Afghan security forces,” Rasmussen told a security conference before the ministers’ meeting in the Slovak capital, which is not expected to announce decisions on troop levels.

“We need other international actors to redouble their efforts to help with reconstruction and development. We have to do more today if we want to be able to do less tomorrow.”

Rasmussen said NATO, which wants Afghan security forces eventually to take over defence tasks, had a mission which was vital for the security of the region and of NATO states.

“I am well aware that there is an increasing number of people who are asking if the cost of our engagement in Afghanistan is too high,” he said, referring to waning public support for the NATO effort in many countries.

“To these people, I want to say very clearly and unambiguously that the cost of inactivity would be far higher.” (photo: NATO)