Stoltenberg says NATO committed to Afghan mission despite attacks

Stoltenberg says NATO committed to Afghan mission despite attacks

Security problems and insider attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan will not affect the alliance’s commitment to building Afghan forces capable of making the Taliban accept a negotiated end to the war, NATO’s chief said on Tuesday. The aim is to build a force strong enough to show the Taliban that it is “pointless and counterproductive to continue the fighting,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to Kabul. He met President Ashraf Ghani and senior NATO commanders, Reuters reports. “So there is a close link between our military efforts and our political efforts, a link between the strength of the Afghan security forces and the likelihood of progress in the peace process,” he told Reuters. NATO and its coalition partners have around 16,000 troops from 39 countries in Afghanistan, well down from over 100,000 at the height of the combat mission. The mission was beefed up from 13,000 last year.