NATO’s Training Mission Is still some 20 per cent Under Strength

NATO defense ministers meeting at organization headquarters in Brussels.

From DPA: NATO’s training mission is still some 20 per cent under strength.

"We welcomed the significant improvement in the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces, and are committed to providing the trainers needed to support that steady progress," [NATO defense] ministers said in a joint declaration.

But diplomats said that the ministers did not come up with fresh offers, sticking to more general declarations of support.

"Today we had the political discussion. Now our military authorities will renew their requests and initiate contacts with individual allies and partners: I am confident that we will see pledges in the coming weeks and months," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

NATO’s training mission is some 450 men short of the full complement of 2,300 needed to bring the Afghan forces up to strength, Rasmussen said.

From the AP:  "My view is those allies and partners who are not prepared to commit combat forces or to increase the number of their combat forces should step up when it comes to trainers," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday, ahead of two days of talks here with NATO defense chiefs. …

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said training remains vital and represents a "success story" for the alliance.  (photo: Getty)

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