On Sunday, NATO allies declared that the end of the war in Afghanistan was in sight. The summit, so far, has been focused on the fate of Afghanistan. Combat troops are to gradually hand over security responsibility to the Afghans next year with a troop pull-out by 2014. President Obama wants the US to shift into a support role in the unpopular war while running for re-election, even though the US is committed to many more years of assistance. The US-Afghan “Strategic Partnership Agreement” covers a time period of ten years after military forces are to leave. Issues remain as member countries debate the details. From the LA Times:
The alliance is split on key details about how to prevent Afghanistan from falling under Taliban control once NATO troops leave. There were clear signs of discord over how quickly to pull troops out over the next 2 1/2 years, and growing doubts about whether NATO nations will meet financial pledges in the future.
“We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead,” Obama told reporters after meeting for more than an hour with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead.”
NATO troops have now spent a decade in Afghanistan, and more recently, NATO airpower helped to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi in Libya. But in the face of economic stress, and war-weary publics in the United States and Europe, how will the alliance move forward? America Abroad reports on The Future of NATO »