Secretary-general: NATO remains ‘indispensable alliance’

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“No one sees a leading role for NATO for the stabilization and the help that is needed in (postwar) Libya,” German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

In Afghanistan, NATO’s troops and the government’s security forces are still struggling against Taliban insurgents, whom they outnumber by about 15 to 1. Some 130,000 NATO troops are currently fighting in Afghanistan; more than 2,700 NATO troops have died in the war.

High-profile Taliban attacks this year have undermined NATO’s claim that it has the upper hand, and the United Nations released a report last month saying the monthly level of violence in the country was significantly higher than in 2010.

The U.S. and NATO began transferring security responsibilities this year to newly trained Afghan forces with the goal of withdrawing all their combat troops by the end of 2014.

Other issues at the two-day NATO meeting will include the situation in Kosovo, where intercommunal clashes continue nearly 12 years after an alliance bombing campaign ended Serbia’s rule there, and naval patrols off Somalia, stretching into a third year after a three-month authorization period in 2008.

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