US and Afghan defense officials met at the Pentagon late on Wednesday as part of the inaugural session of the US-Afghanistan Security Consultations Forum (SCF).
Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Afghan Interior Minister Besmillah Khan Mohammadi met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Under Secretary of Defense for policy Michele Flournoy, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright and other defense officials.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the purpose of those meetings is “to discuss building long-term cooperation between the two countries as we as issues of immediate importance”.
“The discussions made progress toward building a mutually-shared vision of the security aspects of enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Afghanistan based on the mutual goal of building Afghan security forces able to provide for Afghanistan’s own security and ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for extremists that threaten others”, added the statement.
The forum reviewed the security situation in Afghanistan for 2010, particularly in Helmand and Kandahar, where there have been improvements in security levels.
The Pentagon also mentioned that Gates discussed the progress made in 2010 in expanding Afghan security forces by more than 70,000 troops and exchanged views on how to continue improvements in the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.