NATO fine-tunes Afghan exit strategy at summit

November 19, 2010 05:10

LISBON, Portugal — NATO is expected to set a 2014 target for handing over security to Afghans at a Portugal summit that starts Friday, as the alliance's appetite for the conflict dwindles after nine years of fighting, growing European war angst, and renewed criticism by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The allies appear to agree the target year is realistic, but that hardly means the war is ending. The US is wary of giving the impression that the original aim of invading Afghanistan in 2001 — to deny al-Qaida a base to launch more terrorist attacks on the West — will be achieved by then.So NATO plans to pledge an enduring partnership with Afghanistan at the two-day Lisbon summit, while admitting past mistakes.

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