The new NATO Secretary General has pledged the Alliance will stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes, while gradually helping local forces to take more control. Anders Fogh Rasmussen held his first press conference as NATO chief, and agreed that Afghanistan is his priority. He insisted that NATO would not cut and run in the face of Taliban attacks.“During my term as NATO Secretary General, Afghans must take over lead responsibility for security in most of their country,” said Rasmussen. “Let no Taliban propagandist try to sell my message as a run for the exit. It is not. We will support the Afghan people for as long as it takes; let me repeat that, for as long as it takes.” Rasmussen hopes to persuade smaller NATO members to do more in Afghanistan, where America and Britain have the most troops. It has been a bloody few weeks, with NATO under increasing Taliban attack and public pressure is growing for the mission to be properly defined.
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