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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs