Dempsey Talks Afghan Transition in Brussels

The NATO mandate for combat troops in Afghanistan will expire at the end of 2014, but there remain many options for the presence and disposition of foreign troops in the country after this date, according to Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. He wrapped up two days of discussions in Brussels on May 15 with NATO officials, including with Gen. Phil Breedlove, NATO’s top military commander, and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top general in Afghanistan. Dempsey said NATO chiefs examined whether the alliance should take a regional approach to the training and advising mission after 2014 or whether it should proceed at the institutional level—and whether it should continue at the battalion, brigade ,or corps level for the Afghan military. Each scenario has different requirements for troops, equipment, basing, and funding, he said, The talks informed recommendations for defense ministers scheduled to meet in Brussels in June. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)