NATO Touts Move as 'Historic Step' Toward Afghan Responsibility
Continuing with various steps aimed at giving the Karzai government nominal control over security in population centers, officials today told a news conference that another round of “transitions” will take place in two months.
At present the Afghan government claims control over 75 percent of the population, and when the next transition goes into effect, that will grow to 87 percent. Officials said there is no timetable for expanding beyond that.
NATO commander Gen. John Allen touted the announcement as “another historic step” toward Afghanistan taking “full responsibility” for its own security, while Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it was likely Afghans would have 100 percent control by the end of 2014.
Afghan officials say that since the transition began, security is “about the same,” but it has seen a small reduction in NATO deaths and a rise in Afghan military deaths to a record level this year. Despite touting a “full transition” at the end of 2014, NATO is expected to keep significant occupation forces well beyond that date, and the US is signed up to keep troops through 2024.
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