The U.S. War in Afghanistan | Council on Foreign Relations

At the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia, rifts emerge among member states on troop commitments to Afghanistan. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer sets a target of 2008 for the Afghan National Army to begin to take control of security. “I would hope that by 2008 we will have made considerable progress,” he says, “with a more stable political architecture in place, and with a strong interface between NATO and the civilian agencies and effective, trusted Afghan security forces gradually taking control.” Leaders of the twenty-six countries agree to remove some national restrictions on how, when, and where forces can be used. But friction continues. With violence against nongovernmental aid workers increasing, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates criticizes NATO countries in late 2007 for not sending more soldiers. “Our progress in Afghanistan is real but it is fragile,” Gates says. “At this time, many allies are unwilling to share the risks, commit the resources, and follow through on collective commitments to this mission and to each other. As a result, we risk allowing what has been achieved in Afghanistan to slip away.”

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