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Afghan mission has universal NATO support: Dunford

AT-KABUL: Chairman of the US military joint chiefs of staff General Joseph Dunford noted the other day that the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies were fully committed to reiterate their consistent support to the Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF).

Dunford who attended Friday’s Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) meeting in Brussels told reporters in Paris that 2015 was a challenging year for Afghan security forces as they were operating last year with just a fraction of international troops, compared to previous years when the NATO-led international coalition was directly involved in combat mission.

He said that he did not want this year to be similar to 2015 for Afghan security forces, adding that “there is still work to be done” and the country needs lasting support from the alliance. “We still think that the campaign can be moved in a positive direction,” Dunford said.

NATO’s 28 Chiefs of Defense agreed to tell their political leaders that by having lessons from last year, more should be done to help Afghans see their bright future, he said.

The former NATO and US troops commander in Afghanistan added that areas in the country that need strengthening include aviation enterprise, special operations, logistics, integrating combined arms and building capacity in the government’s organs.

“I think it’s not unfair to say there was universal support for addressing that,” the chairman said.

Dunford served as the top commander of the International Security Assistance Force and of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014.

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