US to convince NATO member countries to support Afghanistan after 2014
“Nato is clearly committed to supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014, when the gradual transition of responsibility for the security of the country from Isaf troops to Afghan forces will be fully implemented,” Nato spokesman in Afghanistan Dominic Medley said at a press conference in Kabul.
Chicago is the 25th summit of the alliance which takes place every two years. In the previous summit in Lisbon, Nato agreed to start transitioning lead responsibilities for security to the Afghan forces.
The Chicago summit will principally focus on three main themes, Medley said: Nato’s commitment to Afghanistan through the transition and beyond, ensuring Afghanistan has the capabilities it needs to defend its population and territory and to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening Nato’s network of partners across the globe
NATO summit will be held next week in Chicago and once again NATO member and other countries will announce their support for Afghanistan after 2014.
It has been considered that after 2014 the number of security forces will be decreased due to lack of funds and financial problems. The number of security forces in Afghanistan currently stands at 350,000, and it will be decided in Chicago summit to decrease the number of security forces after 2014 to 230,000.
U.S. officials have had their tin cups out for months. Marc Grossman, the top State Department official for Afghanistan, recently hit up European nations, and others are lobbying Russia, Central Asian and Asian nations. U.S. officials are asking for pledges to sustain an Afghan force of roughly 230,000 during the first three years after the NATO-led international force departs.
The argument is fairly straightforward. Even $4 billion a year to prop up the Afghan military is cheaper than the cost of maintaining a foreign army in Afghanistan, and a lot easier for war-weary publics to swallow.
Some of the requests appear to be largely symbolic. For example, U.S. officials asked some of Afghanistan’s neighbors for initial pledges of about $5 million annually, said Richard Weitz of the Hudson Institute in Washington.
“That’s nothing, but it’s something, too,” Weitz said, since it serves the diplomatic goal of showing broad support for Afghan stability.
Afghanistan will dominate the agenda for the Chicago meeting, although there is likely to be little discussion of the military campaign itself. Karzai is attending and this week NATO invited Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Security stability is certainly the key to economic development in Afghanistan. The security sector gets the largest slice of the national budget, accounting for more than 40 percent of operating spending, according to World Bank Statistics.
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