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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid