NATO's top officer in charge of the alliance's forces in Afghanistan is warning that a stalemate with the Taliban could threaten the mission.

German Gen. Egon Ramms, whose office oversees NATO's international security force in Afghanistan warns "the clock in Afghanistan is clearly running against us" in trying to defeat Taliban and insurgents.

Speaking to reporters at his command headquarters here near the Dutch border on Thursday, Ramms says he fears that if a military stalemate develops, public support for NATO's mission in Afghanistan and in Western countries will fall away.