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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised the alliance's handover of Afghan security and called on European allies to contribute more to military modernization in his 2013 annual report, issued on Monday. Afghanistan "brought together over one quarter of the world's nations: 28 NATO allies and 22 partners in the largest coalition in recent history," wrote Rasmussen in introducing the Jan. 27 document. "Beyond 2014, our forces must stay connected, as allies and with partners, so that we stand ready to operate together when called upon," he added. Rasmussen identified cyber defense, missile defense, counterpiracy, and anti-terrorism as key mission areas that require allied monetary commitment. "We must invest in the capabilities we need to deal with the risks and challenges that we face," he said. "I expect European allies to play their full part in developing critical capabilities, such as joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, heavy transport, and missile defense," he stated. (NATO release)