NATO Secretary General Rasmussen attended an expanded delegation meeting in President Obama's Oval Office on 29 September. After the meeting they addressed the press together, emphasizing the tremendously important challenge in Afghanistan as well as NATO-Russian relations.
During the press conference Secretary General Rasmussen spoke about the operation in Afghanistan and stressed the importance of team effort for success.
Here are some quotes from the press conference:
"The President and I have had a very constructive meeting. I have thanked the President for his strong support. I look very much forward to cooperating with the President and his administration on reforming, transforming, and modernizing NATO. We are going to elaborate a new strategic concept, which I hope can serve as leverage for renewal of NATO."
"Of course, our main focus today has been our cooperation in Afghanistan. I say "our" focus deliberately because our operation in Afghanistan is not America's responsibility or burden alone. It is and it will remain a team effort. I agree with President Obama in his approach: strategy first, then resources. The first thing is not numbers. It is to find and fine-tune the right approach to implement the strategy already laid down, and all NATO allies are right now looking at McChrystal's review."
"I'm convinced that success in Afghanistan is achievable and will be achieved. And don't make any mistake -- the normal discussion on the right approach should not be misinterpreted as lack of resolve. This Alliance will stand united and we will stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to finish our job."