Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The Fogh of war: NATO secretary general says Pakistan is still a partner

Hmm — this must be a new category of NATO partner, one that shoots at our helicopters, proliferates nuclear weaponry, and plays footsie with terrorists. By Elizabeth Flora Best Defense aging alliances deputy bureau chief NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stopped by SAIS last week as part of a tour across America to promote ...

Waqar Hameed/Flickr
Waqar Hameed/Flickr
Waqar Hameed/Flickr

Hmm -- this must be a new category of NATO partner, one that shoots at our helicopters, proliferates nuclear weaponry, and plays footsie with terrorists.

By Elizabeth Flora
Best Defense aging alliances deputy bureau chief

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stopped by SAIS last week as part of a tour across America to promote the geriatric alliance's purported current and future relevance. In addition to dishing out the usual mush about the alliance, he fielded questions about current security challenges:

Hmm — this must be a new category of NATO partner, one that shoots at our helicopters, proliferates nuclear weaponry, and plays footsie with terrorists.

By Elizabeth Flora
Best Defense aging alliances deputy bureau chief

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stopped by SAIS last week as part of a tour across America to promote the geriatric alliance’s purported current and future relevance. In addition to dishing out the usual mush about the alliance, he fielded questions about current security challenges:

On Libya: When questioned on whether or not NATO would engage in nation-building in a "post-Qaddafi era," he said that it will have a "role to play" in the transition to democracy, especially by ensuring that the military can be controlled by a new government. Fortunately, he did not have to answer when this era will emerge.

On Afghanistan: His recommendations have not changed in the post-bin Laden era, which call for the same timeline with a contingent of non-combat troops remaining past 2014, when Afghans should "stand on their own feet" but "will not stand alone."

On Pakistan: However, to accomplish success in Afghanistan, NATO will need a "positive engagement" and "partnership" with Pakistan. "Despite recent events" and "many questions that need to be answered," Rasmussen said that "we appreciate" that Pakistan has "taken steps" against terrorism in the border region, but in an diplomatic understatement, "we do believe there is potential for strengthened efforts."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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