LISBON, Portugal — NATO is expected to set a 2014 target for handing over security to Afghans at a summit that starts here today, as the alliance's appetite for the conflict dwindles after nine years, growing European war angst, and renewed criticism by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The allies appear to agree the target year is realistic, but that hardly means the war is ending. The U.S. is wary of giving the impression that the original aim of invading Afghanistan in 2001 — to deny al-Qaida a base to launch more attacks on the West — will be achieved by then.
So NATO plans to pledge an enduring partnership with Afghanistan at the two-day Lisbon summit, while admitting past mistakes.
Haitians blame U.N. troops for cholera
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Anti-U.N. violence spread to Haiti's capital Thursday as protesters blocked roads and attacked foreigners' cars over suspicions that peacekeepers introduced a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,100 people.
The unrest followed three days of similar violence in northern Haiti. The protests come a little more than a week before national elections, and the U.N. has characterized them as political. Some demonstrators threw rocks at an office of President Rene Preval's Unity Party and tore down campaign posters.
But the protests are fueled by suspicions, shared by some U.S. disease experts, that a contingent of Nepalese soldiers brought cholera with them to Haiti and spread the disease from their rural base into the Artibonite River system, where the initial outbreak was centered.
The disease is new to Haiti and was not expected to strike this year despite rampant bad sanitation and poor access to drinking water.