WASHINGTON - Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will give a tough time to the insurgents after the 2104 withdrawal of foreign troops, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said, reiterating insider attacks will not force a change in the security transition timeline.
In an interview on the Charlie Rose show on PBS channel, Rasmussen said the Taliban would not be in a stronger position in 2014. "They will not be in a stronger position. That's a very important point in our strategy that when we stop our combat mission, a very capable Afghan security force will take over.
"We are building up the number of Afghan security forces. By the end of 2014, we will have 352,000 Afghan security forces. And even more importantly, quality-wise, they will be very capable," Rasmussen added.
During a recent visit to Afghanistan, he said he had an opportunity to see Afghan special operation forces in action. He was impressed by what he saw, he said, asking the Taliban not to miscalculate the situation, because they would be faced with a strong and capable Afghan security force.
Rasmussen said there was no change in the 2014 timeline for security transition. The alliance had outlined a clear roadmap for a gradual handover of responsibility to Afghan forces, who would take full responsibility by the end of 2014.
Insider attacks would not derail the NATO strategy in Afghanistan, believed Rasmussen, who did express concern over the incidents. "(This is) because people ask -- legitimately so -- why is it that we send trainers to help the Afghans and they turn their weapons against the very same trainers?"
NATO commanders on the ground had introduced some temporary measures to prevent insider attacks, he said, explaining that they would not conduct joint operations with Afghan forces in specific cases.
"But these are prudent and temporary and I would expect these joint operations to be resumed as soon as the situation allows. And the timetable is still realistic, despite these temporary measures," he said, adding that he expects joint operations to resume as soon as the situation permitted. (Pajhwok)