When the NATO-led missions were initially canceled, NATO leaders took great pains to emphasize that this was not a setback for the mission in Afghanistan.
In his monthly press briefing, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen acknowledged to reporters that the alliance is “going through a challenging period, not in the least due to the occurrence of insider attacks. We look at these attacks with the utmost concern.”
Their plan to hand over full control of Afghanistan’s security by 2014 remained unchanged, he emphasized.
Rasmussen said that as of now, “most ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] units are conducting normal partnered operations. They are working with our Afghan partners and they are mentoring our Afghan partners.”
He also said that Afghan security forces had already taken sole control of the security in much of the country, and in those areas the situation was stable, or had improved.
“The insurgents are trying to undermine our partnership and to drive a wedge between us,” Rasmussen said. “My message is very clear. We will not let them succeed, because ISAF at the Afghan security forces face the same threats, and we have the same goal: a sovereign, stable, and secure Afghanistan.”