NATO Secretary General's monthly press briefing 05
Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
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Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. It is a moment to remember the citizens of 25 NATO and partner countries who died that day, and all the victims of terrorist atrocities around the Alliance and around the world, from Madrid and London, to Istanbul, Bali and beyond.
Le terrorisme ne peut jamais se justifier ni être toléré. Et l’OTAN est déterminée à jouer pleinement son rôle pour ce qui est de le combattre. C’est vital pour notre propre sécurité. Et c’est vital pour les valeurs et les principes du droit international que nous défendons.
Voilà pourquoi Alliés et partenaires travaillent sans relâche pour détecter et prévenir les actes de terrorisme.
Et voilà pourquoi nous avons plus de 120 000 (cent vingt mille) soldats en Afghanistan : pour faire en sorte que ce pays ne puisse plus jamais servir de sanctuaire permettant aux terroristes de planifier et de lancer des attaques contre nos pays. Et ce, en mettant en place des forces de sécurité afghanes solides et compétentes, qui pourront protéger l’Afghanistan lorsque notre mission actuelle prendra fin en 2014.
Voilà notre objectif, notre stratégie et notre calendrier en Afghanistan. Voilà notre mission. Une mission que nous mènerons jusqu’au bout.
It is a challenging mission. And every loss in Afghanistan is tragic. My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who have been killed and injured. And with their comrades in the field who continue to carry out their mission with such courage and commitment.
In the past few months, we have seen a number of insider attacks, which are of great concern to all of us. We are looking very carefully into each one. And we are doing everything we can, together with our Afghan partners, to reduce the risks as much as we can.
The vetting and screening of recruits is getting stronger. We are seeing better counter-intelligence efforts. ISAF and Afghan forces are getting more training to understand cultural differences. And we are constantly adapting the measures to protect our forces to the situation on the ground.
Last week, I discussed these attacks with President Karzai. We agreed that this is cause for very serious concern. And we agreed that we will do everything we can to tackle the problem.
Because we will simply not allow the enemies of Afghanistan to change our strategy. And we will not allow them to drive a wedge between us and our Afghan partners.
Every day, we see tens of thousands of ISAF and Afghan troops fighting together against the same threat and for the same goal. We know that despite these tragic incidents, the vast majority of our forces have a bond of trust with their Afghan comrades. And many Afghans have sacrificed their lives for ours.
There will be challenges and there will be setbacks. But they should not overshadow the significant progress we have made together and continue to make.
Afghan forces are getting more professional, more confident and better equipped. Within weeks, they will reach their full strength of 352,000.
The Afghan forces are genuinely moving into the lead. They are assuming more responsibility in the campaign. They are taking the lead for providing security for three quarters of the population. Every province is part of this process. And the insurgents are being pushed further back from the population. Currently, 80 % of their attacks take place in areas where just 20 % of the population lives.
Over the next 28 months we will continue to train and support the Afghan forces so that they assume full responsibility for security in their own country. This process of transition is unstoppable.
As Afghans step forward, ISAF is moving into a supporting role. You will see some of our troops redeploying, and some going home. This does not amount to a change in the timeline. It is the natural consequence of the progress of transition.
And make no mistake: NATO is committed to supporting Afghanistan, as part of the broader international community. Indeed, at the Chicago summit in May we agreed that after 2014, NATO will lead a new mission, to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces.
Planning for our new mission is already underway. And I expect the initial guidance to be completed in the next few weeks.
I will discuss our mission in Afghanistan, and other global security challenges, later this month in New York, when I attend the United Nations General Assembly. I will meet again with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who took part in the summit in Chicago.
We all know the cost of our mission in Afghanistan, and the investment we have made over the years. So let me say this: we have an important goal and a mandate from the United Nations. Our strategy is set, our timeline is clear. And we will stay the course.
With that, I am ready to take your questions.
Good afternoon, and welcome back to NATO
Year of Production: 2012
Country: United States