Lisbon Meeting

NATO Agrees to 2014 Afghan Pullout

It looks like big decisions are getting made on the first day of the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal. NATO will start withdrawing troops in Afghanistan next July with the goal of ending combat missions there by 2014, possibly sooner, but it’s unclear how many troops will remain as military advisers. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were also urging their NATO allies to stick with it till the end, Obama telling the Spanish paper El Pais that he expected Allies will pledge additional trainers for the Afghan security forces, and Clinton defending the high cost European nations are paying for the war. Also under discussion was the expansion of NATO’s missile defense shield, which alliance officials insisted was worth the $273 million price tag. At Turkey’s insistence, no one named Iran as a threat, but Iran’s ballistic missile program has been a subject of concern in past NATO meetings.