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Rumsfeld meets new Kabul leaders

Rumsfeld file pic
Rumsfeld: Advance details of his trip were not released for security reasons  

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met with incoming Afghan leader Hamid Karzai at Bagram airport Sunday.

He also talked with other members of the new interim government, which is to take power December 22.

One of the issues under discussion was the nature international security force for Kabul, whether it should be robust or modest.

Also, the officials are talking about what has been accomplished in post-Taliban Afghanistan so far and what needs to be done in the future.

Rumsfeld, who arrived on a C-17 aircraft, was greeted by an honor guard of local Afghan troops and officials of the incoming government.

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He toured the base and talked to members of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division.

Before he arrived in Bagram, Rumsfeld spoke to U.S. troops at a base near Afghanistan, though the Pentagon would not disclose the location.

He told 50 to 100 troops that when the United States is attacked there needs to be a penalty. He told them their job is not done and there is a long way to go.

Rumsfeld has been warned not to leave the hard surface concrete of the runway because the Bagram base has not been cleared of mines.

There are hulks of decrepit MiG-21 jets from the Soviet era littering the base.

On Saturday, Rumsfeld toured three Caucasus nations, meeting the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, located across the Caspian Sea from the Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan.

He discussed military assistance for the states in return for their help in the U.S. war on terrorism.

Rumsfeld is also scheduled to visit Uzbekistan and attend a NATO defense ministerial meeting Brussels, Belgium.

Defense Ministers from NATO's 19 member countries will be meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss developments in NATO-related issues and the war on terror.

According to the NATO Web site, the ministers "will also focus on the adaptation of the military capabilities of NATO member countries to new threats through the Alliance's Defence Capabilities Initiative.

"In addition, they will exchange views on missile defense and discuss NATO-EU relations, the enlargement process, NATO's partnership activities, relations with Russia and Ukraine and the Mediterranean Dialogue," the site reports.


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