May 20th, 2012
02:17 PM ET

Rasmussen: NATO must operate abroad to defend interests

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.  Follow our reporting and other key NATO tweets with our NATO summit Twitter list.

NATO must be willing to be involved in conflict away from the immediate geography of the member nations, the group's secretary general told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday.

Rasmussen was responding to a Security Clearance article by CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott which reported that the decade-long NATO involvement in Afghanistan has produced what some have described as collective fatigue among European allies and questions about whether NATO should be involved in conflicts outside of Europe's backyard.

"In today's world all allies realize that territorial defense of our populations and our countries may very well start beyond our borders," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded in an interview that aired on CNN's State of the Union.

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In regards to Afghanistan, Rasmussen said NATO members are starting to pledge the money needed to support Afghanistan, an issue that the U.S. is raising with other countries.  Rasmussen described himself as "optimistic" the necessary funds to support Afghanistan's forces will be achieved.

"At the end of the day it is less expensive to finance the Afghan security forces to do the combat than to deploy our own troops," Rasmussen said.  He pointed to Germany's "significant" contribution.

"Of course, NATO and ISAF countries will pay their fair share of the total bill but countries in general in the international community have a responsibility and have also have an interest in ensuring that the Afghan security forces maintain a capability to take full responsibility in Afghanistan after 2014," he added.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. obama's mission is RE-ELECTION ONLY

    well loggers do not want logging to stop , like wise fishermen do not want fishing to stop , so this war guy does not want war to stop and his biggest supporter is the arms dealer and his secound biggest supporter is obama .

    May 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply

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