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NATO debates the lessons of mission creep in Afghanistan


By LORNE COOK and DAVID KEYTON
Associated Press

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — NATO foreign ministers are debating a report on the lessons to learn from the military organization’s 18-year presence in conflict-ravaged Afghanistan. The security effort is estimated to have cost the United States alone $2.3 trillion. The price in lives includes 2,324 American troops and 1,144 personnel among U.S. allies. Those casualty figures are dwarfed by Afghan losses, which include more than 46,000 civilians. Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg suggested that the security operation became a victim of “mission creep.” He says “we must recognize that over the years the international community set a level of ambition that went well beyond the original aim of fighting terrorism.” 



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