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NATO - Afghanistan strategy reaffirmed

On 1 July 2010, the incoming Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General David Petraeus, visited NATO Headquarters. He met with the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and addressed the North Atlantic Council and representatives of the ISAF troop contributing nations.

The NATO Secretary General congratulated General Petraeus upon his nomination as ISAF Commander (COMISAF). He insisted that this was a change of command, not a change of strategy, and that all 46 nations had reaffirmed their full support to the mission. “We will all continue the current strategy to take on the Taliban politically and militarily in their heartland; to gradually transfer lead security responsibility to the Afghans; and to help the Government of Afghanistan in providing good governance and delivering basic services to the Afghan people,” the Secretary General said.

In his briefing, General Petraeus stressed the importance of civil-military partnership with the Government of Afghanistan, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and other key stakeholders. “All of us recognize the imperative of linking arms and making way together. We must achieve unity of effort,” he said.

Looking at his goals for 2010, General Petraeus said: “we will look into the expansion of security; the performance of the Afghan national security forces and their growth, not only in terms of numbers but also in capacity; and we will look into complementary activities in terms of governance and the delivery of basic services.” He insisted that this will have to be carried out in a spirit of full inclusivity and transparency.

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