NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he agreed with a grim assessment of the war in Afghanistan by the US commander there but stopped short of calling for more troops.
"Basically I share the views presented by General (Stanley) McChrystal," Rasmussen said when asked about a leaked report by the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The general's analysis recognises there is no military solution to the war and calls for a "more comprehensive approach" that seeks to safeguard the population, Rasmussen said after a speech at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank.
He said he was not ready to comment on McChrystal's request for tens of thousands of additional troops to reinforce efforts to counter Islamist insurgents.
"It would be premature to make any judgement here and now as regards a resource request," he said. "Now we have to go through his initial assessment and analysis, discuss it within the alliance, agree on the approach and then we can make a decision on resources," he said.
But he urged the NATO-led coalition to provide more advisers and funding to build up Afghan security forces which he said would pave the way for eventually scaling back the international military presence.