NATO allies assured the U.S. of helping out with at least $1 billion in funds for Afghan security forces annually over the next three years.
Afghanistan has had a NATO presence since 2003 as the organization attempts to stabilize the country and spent billions of dollars in the process. NATO was forced to reverse plans to reduce the number of troops deployed to the country owing to the worsening situation and the rise of the Taliban. On Saturday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s commitment to defending the people of Afghanistan.
“First, we agreed to sustain our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016, through a flexible, regional model. Second, we received firm national commitments to continue funding Afghan security forces through 2020. And third, we reaffirmed our support for a long-term political partnership and practical cooperation with Afghanistan . So our message is clear: Afghanistan does not stand alone; and we are committed for the long haul,” Stoltenberg said at the Warsaw summit.
He reportedly added that more pledges were due to come in but was certain of achieving the $1 billion target.
There are currently 13,000 U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan whose duty is to train Afghan forces. After the U.S., Germany, Turkey and Italy are the biggest contributors.
President Barack Obama announced recently that plans to cut the U.S. troops in Afghanistan by half by the end of 2016 were set aside. He added that the U.S. would reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan by about 1,400 troops keeping 8,400 troops in the war-torn country till his presidency comes to an end.