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Obama eyes more NATO responsibilities in Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that dismantling the al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan is not American battle, but "the most important NATO mission right now."

"It is absolutely critical that we are successful in dismantling, disrupting, destroying the al-Qaeda network, and that we are effectively working with the Afghan government to provide the security necessary for that country," Obama told reporters after meeting with NATO Secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the White House.

"This is not an American battle; this is a NATO mission, as well. And we are working actively and diligently to consult with NATO at every step of the way," he said, stressing that the military alliance is "the cornerstone of transatlantic relationships."

Echoing Obama's remarks, Rasmussen, who became the top NATO official in August and will serve until 2013, said the operation in Afghanistan "is not America's responsibility or burden alone. It is and it will remain a team effort."

"I agree with President Obama in his approach: strategy first, then resources. The first thing is not numbers. It is to find and fine-tune the right approach to implement the strategy already laid down, and all NATO allies are right now looking at McChrystal's review," said Rasmussen.

The Obama administration is considering a report presented by General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who warned that the United States would lose the war against al-Qaeda and Taliban without rapidly sending more troops to Afghanistan.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) listens to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, September 29, 2009.

 

Some administration policymakers, including Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, claim that they must review the overall strategy of the war in Afghanistan before sending more troops. 
 

 
 
 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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