In Afghanistan, the Administration has implemented three mutually reinforcing surges -- military, civilian and diplomatic -- to fulfill the national security imperative of ensuring that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for al-Qaida.
We are committed to learning the lessons of history and avoiding the kind of precipitous pullout that can fuel instability. We are now in the execution phase of our strategy. We expect some continuing challenges along the way, but we are achieving the goals we set in each of these three surges -- fighting, talking and building all at once.
Just two weeks ago, a Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed that provides a comprehensive framework for continued cooperation between the United States and a sovereign Afghanistan. President Karzai just announced this past weekend the third tranche of transition, after which nearly 75 percent of Afghans will be living in areas where Afghan forces are leading.
The Afghan army and police have now repeatedly demonstrated their enhanced capacity to defend the Afghan people with minimal assistance from coalition forces, and by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for security throughout the country. In Chicago this weekend at the NATO Summit, our allies and partners will join us in advancing a sustainable, effective Afghan National Security Force beyond transition.
Key to achieving our security objectives is improved Afghan civilian capacity and economic opportunity, which requires not only sustained support from the international community, but also, critically, Afghan action -- to improve governance, fight corruption, promote private-sector investment, and protect human rights.
In July, the international community and the Afghan government will meet in Tokyo to advance this mutual accountability, building on commitments already made in a series of international conferences, including in Istanbul and Bonn over the past year. While we will continue to face real challenges, we have seen some remarkable results. We have made significant progress in bolstering women's rights and education, expanding health services to the Afghan people, advancing nascent democracy, and improving Afghan capacity.
So, as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said on May 17, the Chicago NATO Summit is a critical milestone in the next step toward a responsible ending of this war, achieving our goals in Afghanistan, and executing of the strategy that the President laid out in Afghanistan when he signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement.
You can see a video of U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo H. Daalder discussing Afghanistan and the NATO Summit in Chicago on YouTube here.