RealNews

Rumsfeld hopes for larger NATO role in Iraq, but Afghan mission comes first

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed hope that NATO will assume a larger role in Iraq but said the alliance’s priority now should be its expanded peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Rumsfeld arrived here from Washington for an informal meeting with NATO defense ministers to discuss developments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, and prepare for the alliance’s summit in Istanbul in June. NATO assumed command this year of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan — its first major operation outside Europe — but has had trouble raising forces for an expanded mission beyond Kabul. “I think NATO’s… first task is to do well the Afghan task,” Rumsfeld told reporters on the flight from Washington. “The next step might be for them to take on a somewhat larger role in Afghanistan.” Full Story

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