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U.S. Asks NATO Allies To Be ‘Flexible’ In Afghan Drawdown Plans


Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the United States has asked NATO allies to “remain flexible” as the alliance reviews its plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Speaking after a NATO defense ministers meeting on October 8, Carter said, "A number of countries today indicated a willingness to change their plans and posture."

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was preparing to "take decisions" on the future of its training and advisory mission in Afghanistan.

The mission replaced NATO’s combat role in the country last year and is set to end in 2016.

"Later this year, we will decide on the troop levels and where they will be based. This will be done on the basis of a detailed security assessment, which we expect in the coming weeks," Stoltenberg said.

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, has said he had recommended President Barack Obama revise his plan and keep more than 1,000 troops in the country beyond 2016.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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