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NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked NATO troops for their service in Afghanistan and elsewhere, saying they are an “enormous credit” to their nations and to the alliance.

“We rely on you from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the skies over the Baltics to our southeastern border in Turkey and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean,” Rasmussen said in a video message to the troops and their families.

“Your professionalism and dedication are the foundation of our security across our alliance,” he said.

About 84,000 NATO troops — 60,000 of them Americans — are currently in Afghanistan. All combat troops will be withdrawn from that country by this time next year, when the alliance’s current mission ends.

Nearly 5,000 NATO troops, including 665 Americans, are still serving in Kosovo, where they first arrived in 1999.

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