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NATO Defense Ministers See Afghanistan Combat Through 2014

NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels agreed that their soldiers in Afghanistan will need to continue combat operations in a support role even after Afghan forces take the lead on the way to full responsibility for security.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reconfirmed yesterday that he hoped the coalition’s lead combat role throughout the country would shift to Afghan national security forces by the end of 2013, with the NATO-led troops continuing to play a support role through 2014.