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NATO chief urges patience with Afghan mission

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NATO chief urges patience with Afghan mission


The new head of NATO has admitted that success in Afghanistan will neither be quick nor easy. Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s warning comes as President Obama mulls over whether to send thousands of extra troops after America’s senior soldier in Afghanistan said failure to do so would jeopardise the mission.

But the President remains cautious with public support for the campaign wavering. Speaking in Washington, Rasmussen tried to address any lingering US doubts. “I have no illusions,” he said. “None of this will be quick and none of it will be easy. We need to have patience. We need more resources. And, unfortunately, we will lose more young soldiers to the terrorist attacks of the Taliban. But I fully agree with President Obama when he says that this is not a war of choice, but of necessity.” Rasmussen also said downplaying efforts of NATO allies was counterproductive. “Talking down the European and Canadian contributions — as some here in the United States do on occasion — can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.” Britain and America have recently suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the Taliban and opinion polls on both sides of Atlantic show voters are increasingly pessimistic about the eight year old conflict.

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