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In Afghanistan, NATO exit plan raises concerns about stability (+video)

NATO plans to transition security control to Afghan forces over the next two years, but many Afghans question their ability to hold the gains that have been made.

During his press conference President Obama called a 'phased transition … to responsibly bring this war to an end,” is another step in the NATO alliance's withdrawal from a fighting role in the decade-long Afghanistan war.
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NATO leaders are expected to endorse a plan on the final day of the Chicago summit today that will bring international combat operations in Afghanistan to an end next summer and have all combat troops out of the country by the end of 2014.

In Afghanistan, news of the NATO summit’s upcoming transition plan is not a surprise for most locals. International troops have already begun handing over parts of the country to Afghan security forces, and the 2014-deadline has long been a part of the public discourse.

Still, for many Afghans, the plan highlights a major concern about the capability of Afghan security forces: If local forces are not ready to take full control and hold stability, the gains made during the past decade could be lost.

“Right now, these security forces do not have any commitment to the sovereignty of the country and they are not fully professional,” says Abdul Rahman Shaheed, a member of parliament from Bamiyan Province and a former police major.

“It will be very hard to maintain the current security after this transition plan is implemented,” Mr. Rahman says. “I think there will be more negative results if [security handover to Afghan troops] happens next year, because right now, the Afghan government does not have any clear security strategy for the country.”

Low number of Afghan-led battalions that score well

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