Following a press conference where he and President Obama pledged to continue the ongoing war in Afghanistan “as long as it takes,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen cautioned against even considering setting a timeline for ending the war in the future.
“It’s premature to present any time table,” Rasmussen insisted, he did however assure that the war would not last forever. Rasmussen insisted the goal was to train Afghan security forces to take over in at least some provinces, though he conceded that he couldn’t name a single province where that strategy appeared to be working.
President Obama insisted that it was “absolutely critical” to continue the war, though he declined to comment on Gen. McChrystal’s call for more troops. Rasmussen said he is also examining McChrystal’s proposal and said the world should not see the fact that they didn’t immediately approve the escalation as a sign that either the US or NATO lacks the resolve to continue the already eight year long conflict.
Gen. McChrystal is seeking up to 45,000 additional troops for the war, which would bring the US presence over 110,000. UN envoy Kai Eide has embraced the call for an escalation, saying “more troops are certainly needed.”