Yesterday at the University of Chicago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave a speech on “Afghanistan and the Future of Peace Operations.” The speech focused on NATO’s role in Afghanistan and how — eight years into the conflict — it has only become more clear that both a military and a civilian effort are required for security and success. Rasmussen made a forceful case for development, saying, “In Afghanistan, there can be no development without security. But equally, there can be no lasting security without development.” Later, he spoke about how NATO has adopted a “whole-of-government approach” to Afghanistan; “Diplomats, defense ministries and development experts sit together, plan together and operate together, including in Provincial Reconstruction Teams all over Afghanistan.” He also made the case for increased partnership among NGOs, international organizations, and other allies and global stakeholders. See below for more excerpts from his speech, and read the full speech here.
“…everything is, indeed, connected. The military mission cannot ultimately succeed until the civilian aspects – better governance, improved development, and a rising economy – succeed.”
“The answer is that we need what we call a comprehensive approach. And that is the first lesson of this mission. The days when the military could defeat the enemy, then hand the baton off to the civilians and go home, are past us.”
“We don’t just need better relations with other international organizations and NGOs. To my mind, NATO also needs to institutionalize a broad and inclusive security dialogue and, where appropriate, partnership with relevant countries from around the world.”