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Continuing ISAF Involvement in Afghanistan: The UN Security Council unanimously voted last week to extend authorization of the 130,000-member International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan by 12 months until Oct. 13, 2012. Resolution 2011, passed on Oct. 12, also authorized ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfill its mandate and reaffirmed the gradual transfer of lead security responsibility to the Afghan Government nation-wide by the end of 2014. The 15-member council encouraged ISAF and other partners to accelerate progress already made by training, mentoring, and empowering Afghan national security forces so that "self-sufficient, sustainable, accountable, and ethnically balanced Afghan security forces [are] providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country." During his visit to NATO headquarters earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta encouraged alliance partners to continue contributing personnel, equipment, and other resources to the Afghanistan mission. (AFPS release by Donna Miles)