Obama: Confident Afghans can take security lead

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CHICAGO (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Afghanistan is on track to place the entire country's security under the lead of Afghan forces in 2013, relegating U.S.-led NATO troops to a support role a year ahead of the planned withdrawal of all NATO forces from Afghanistan.

The president was speaking at the start of a meeting of NATO leaders and partner countries who have participated in the war in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the international allies remained committed to a secure and democratic Afghanistan. To that end, he said, there would be a NATO-led presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to advise, train and assist Afghan forces.

Obama expressed confidence that the goal of transferring security to Afghan forces next year was attainable.