New mission to start in 4 days, says NATO
Deputy Commander of NATO Lt. Gen. Carsten Jacobson told journalists in Kabul NATO was satisfied with its achievements in the last 13 years and the new mission would also focus on Afghan forces
He lauded the ability of ANSF, saying they were able to take the lead in combating terrorism. “After this we will remain in the war zone but not on a war mission.”
“We understand that ANSF need our support and advice. Our main aim is how to make these forces more efficient,” the commander explained.
Jacobson said NATO was fully committed to the promises it had made at the London Conference. “We believe Afghans are also happy with what we have done. Now we end our combat mission with confidence.”
The commander acknowledged since the start of the transition process, ANSF had shown maturity and they were prepared for a complete takeover. As many as 12,500 NATO soldiers from 30 countries would remain in Afghanistan for the new mission after 2014.
Regarding some neighboring countries’ concerns why NATO was staying put in Afghanistan beyond 2014, Jacobson said it was because Afghans and their government had requested it.
“Terrorism is a common enemy to the world, that’s why we will stand by each other.” He said Resolute Support was only for the next two years and they would further develop plans for the remaining eight years.
“The Afghan government is at war against insurgents like the Haqanni network, Taliban and other groups and we would support it in this fight,” he promised.
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