World

Austin: NATO members will learn from Afghanistan experiences

October 23, 2021
File photo of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
File photo of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

BRUSSELS — US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Friday said the members of the 30-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance would learn from the experiences in Afghanistan.

"We also discussed NATO's role after the end of our mission in Afghanistan. After 9/11 NATO invoked article 5 and entered Afghanistan as a united alliance. And 20 years later NATO left Afghanistan as a united Alliance," he told a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels after a 2-day meeting of NATO Defense Ministers.

"And as we move forward we are determined to apply some lessons to NATO's current and future operations to ensure that we can most effectively use our collective strengths," he said.

He stressed that NATO remains the central forum for consultation, decision-making, and action on trans-Atlantic security and defense issues. "Our meetings this week only reinforces that NATO's strength doesn't come just from its military might; it comes from its unity and its sense of common purpose," said Austin.

"We're committed to working with our allies to ensure that NATO is ready to face the future," he said. "Our countries face an increasingly complex security environment. And, so, this alliance is opening a new chapter in the transatlantic relationship," he added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined an in-person meeting of Defense Ministers from framework nations of the Global Coalition against so-called Islamic State (Dasesh), chaired by the United States, at NATO headquarters in Brussels Friday.

According to a NATO press release, Stoltenberg said that allies were strongly committed in the fight against terrorism. He also highlighted NATO's continued strong engagement in the Global Coalition, including through NATO Mission Iraq, and the Alliance's capacity-building efforts in support to Jordan and Tunisia.

He emphasized the need to preserve their collective counterterrorism gains in Afghanistan over the past twenty years. Furthermore, the NATO chief underscored that the alliance was looking into possibilities to expand its partnerships towards countries in the Sahel region and was exploring opportunities for further cooperation with African countries in countering terrorism.

Meanwhile, Austin said the Global Coalition gathering was a "restricted meeting of our top military contributors to defeat ISIS."

"It will be an important opportunity for us to consult on ongoing operations in Iraq and Syria as well as new emerging threats such ISIS Khorasan," he added. — KUNA


October 23, 2021
130 views
HIGHLIGHTS
World
9 hours ago

Workers with HIV-AIDS continue to face stigma, discrimination: ILO

World
10 hours ago

Series of appalling deadly attacks on displaced people in DR Congo

World
10 hours ago

COVID-19: WHO’s Tedros criticizes ‘blunt’ Omicron measures

X