BRUSSELS (AP) — Fifteen years after NATO took the lead on international security efforts in Afghanistan, the military alliance's foreign ministers reaffirmed Wednesday their commitment to stay the course despite mounting Afghan casualties and the slow pace of peace moves.

At talks in Brussels, the ministers underlined their "steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability," reaffirming that NATO's mission in the insurgency-wracked country will last as long as conditions demand it.

It came in a week when the Marine officer nominated to command U.S. forces in the Middle East warned that the fight there is at a stalemate and the number of Afghan troop deaths in the war isn't sustainable.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the rising violence could be a sign that things are about to change.

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