Code 135567
PublishDate: Saturday, February 16, 2019 00:37

NATO continues in its critical role in developing Afghan national security forces: Shanahan

AVA- Speaking to reports at the end of a two-day NATO defense ministerial in Brussels on Thursday, Shanahan said “NATO is coordinated and aligned. We are together. We are helping to ensure a diplomatic settlement, with Ambassador Khalilzad in the lead.”
In regards to the ongoing peace efforts, the Acting Secretary of Defense said “No outcome is predetermined, but as President Trump said in the State of the Union, after two decades of war, the hour has come to try for peace.”
“Visiting both Afghanistan and Iraq, I was inspired by the devotion and teamwork of our NATO troops, working alongside our Afghan and Iraq partners,” he said adding that “We have young people from Barcelona, Warsaw and Pittsburgh who grew up speaking different languages now serving beside each other and protecting each other in common missions.”
In response to a question regarding the U.S. pullout plans from Afghanistan, Shanahan said “There will be no unilateral troop reduction. I mean, that was one of the messages of the meeting today. We’ll be coordinated. We’re together.”
“President Trump said this is an opportunity for peace. Let’s not let this opportunity be stolen away from us. And so what we talked about was how do we double down in our support for Afghan national defense and security forces to put even more pressure on the Taliban? We talked about no division, alliance and unity, and that’s how we walked out of the room,” he added.

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