NATO chief says strategy for Afghanistan unchanged

NATO chief says strategy for Afghanistan unchanged
# 24 June 2010 04:30 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. NATO will maintain its approach to Afghanistan after President Barack Obama on Wednesday relieved his top general in the country from command, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, APA reports quoting “Reuters”.
"I have taken note that General McChrystal is stepping down as Commander of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. While he will no longer be the commander, the approach he helped put in place is the right one," Rasmussen said in a statement.
"The strategy continues to have NATO’s support and our forces will continue to carry it out."
Naming General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal, Obama also said the shift did not reflect a change in policy.
McChrystal’s dismissal follows remarks he and his aides made in a magazine article that disparaged the U.S. president and other senior civilian leaders.
In his statement, Rasmussen said NATO’s top diplomat in Afghanistan Mark Sedwill will continue to oversee political efforts.
"Our operations in Afghanistan are continuing today, and they will not miss a beat," he said.
A NATO spokesman said under the existing structure of the alliance’s forces its member states will not have to approve McChrystal’s departure.
McChrystal’s strategy focused on taking on the Taliban in their spiritual homeland by improving security, alongside a push to boost local governance and development, while training Afghan forces to take control before the start of a gradual U.S. troop withdrawal.