News / Europe

NATO Mulls Extended Funding for Large Force of Afghans

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses media, defense ministers meeting on Syria and Afghanistan, in Brussels, Feb. 21, 2013.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses media, defense ministers meeting on Syria and Afghanistan, in Brussels, Feb. 21, 2013.
Luis Ramirez
U.S. and NATO officials are considering a plan to maintain the size of Afghanistan's national security forces at 352,000 for another five years.
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta joined his NATO counterparts for the Thursday meeting in Brussels where they discussed the move, which is meant to boost confidence among Afghans who are worried that their country may descend into chaos after most foreign troops depart at the end of next year.
 
Speaking to a small group of reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, senior NATO officials say the proposal aims to reassure the Afghans that the international community will remain committed to the country's security after the troops leave.
 
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the plan is getting serious consideration even as NATO countries grapple with declining budgets.
 
“It is easy to make the case that it's better to finance Afghan security forces than to deploy international troops," he said. "From a political point of view, it's better to give the defense of Afghanistan an Afghan face, and from an economic point of view it is actually less expensive to finance Afghan security forces than to deploy foreign troops.”
 
The United States pays $5.7 billion of the $6.5 billion it costs to maintain the force each year.
 
The government of President Hamid Karzai had expressed concern after the alliance earlier considered a plan that would reduce Afghan forces to about 240,000 in 2015.
 
The U.S. and its allies expect to hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces this spring just ahead of this year's fighting season.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama this month announced that more than half of the 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will withdraw within one year, but officials have indicated the troops will stay through the fighting season to advise, train, and assist the Afghans.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
February 24, 2013 9:17 AM
@JKF are you talking about California or East of Germany or talking about Narcotics in Italia? Afghanistan didn't have these smuggling before International communities came in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not Hollywood of California or East of Germany or Italia. these problems as you mentioned were in Western countries not in our country fortunately. you must solve your problems rather than pay attention to our country. it is good idea to increase your opinion in Mexico, Columbia, Italia, Greece, East of Germany and Denmark rather than our country. from this time we do not allow lice to talk about our country. it is enough that three member of Taliban run-out 100 international troops from ground of battle. these are your achievements

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 23, 2013 12:35 AM
There are probably 300-400 thousands part time Taliban; 350 thousand Afgh forces; if peace came about tomorow, what is the transition plan, from fighters to ????????? for at least 400 thousand ex-fighters? past options- Warlord forces/Drug lord forces/ Bandits/kidnappers/ bomb makers/ Global Jihadis/ opium growers/protectors/ Al-Qaida foot soldiers??????? WHAT IS KARZAI'S NEW EMPLOYMENT PLAN for all these people?...
My plan would be to gradually release and integrate all these forces into society, through vocational training programs that are useful to improve Afghanistan. How many trg centres has Karzai set up for the outflow of personnel from fighter forces? Karzai needs to do some work on these issues?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs