NATO's Afghan strategy is unchanged: Rasmussen
20 September, 2012
KABUL: The NATO secretary-general has defended the new measures taken by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander to protect foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Gen. John Allen, in response to what the NATO-led force calls elevated threat levels in Afghanistan, has temporarily put in place reinforced measures, including a cutback in joint operations, to reduce the risk to international soldiers.
"I have spoken to General Allen about the measures that he has put in place to protect our troops. These measures are prudent and temporary, in response to the current situation," Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
After a meeting with Albanian President Bujar Nishani at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, he told journalists: "We have said all along that we will take every step necessary to minimise the risks to our troops..."
Despite recent challenges, he said the alliance stayed fully committed to its strategy in Afghanistan. "We remain committed to our goal of seeing the Afghans fully in charge of their own security by the end of 2014."
A statement from Dominic Medley, spokesman for the alliance senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, quoted the secretary-general as saying: "So our strategy remains the same. We will continue to partner, to assist, to give advice, to train Afghan security forces."