NATO Set To Approve Afghan Exit Plan

Posted on: 5:37 pm, May 21, 2012, by , updated on: 05:32pm, May 21, 2012

CHICAGO, IL. (CNN) – Demonstrators have not derailed the mission at a 2-day NATO summit in Chicago.
By the end of the Monday, world leaders are expected to sign off on an exit strategy from Afghanistan.

Carl Azuz reports on the talks and the violent protests that have at times overshadowed them.

This is a meeting with a very specific mission.  At the top of the agenda, President Barack Obama is urging dozens of heads of state to support his exit strategy from Afghanistan.

“We’ll set a goal for have Afghan forces take the lead for combat missions across the country in 2013.// “This will be another step towards Afghans taking full lead for their security as agreed to by 2014 when the ISAF combat mission will end.”

World leaders are reassuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai that despite plans for a withdrawal, there are no plans for NATO countries to abandon the Afghan people.

“From 2015 we expect to maintain a NATO-led presence to train, advise and assist the Afghan Security Forces.”

One of the major points to be worked out at the NATO summit is funding the Afghan troop build up and long term support.  While representatives are driven by a mission for lasting peace, the backdrop to the meeting has been anything but peaceful.

Demonstrators clashed with police on Sunday protesters and police were among the injured.  The Chicago police department defended the use of force against the crowds.

“Asking people to put themselves in harm’s way, knowing they’re going to be assaulted and be able to stand there and take it, these guys are amazing.”

Protesters were not deterred by Sunday’s crackdown.  They were back out on Monday but so far, demonstrations have remained peaceful.

I’m Carl Azuz reporting.