News / Asia

NATO to Add to Police and Army Trainers in Afghanistan

NATO spokesman says the alliance hopes to secure pledges of 2,000 or more personnel to train the Afghan army and police

Lisa Bryant

NATO members and allies are meeting in the Belgium town of Mons to try to boost the number of police and army trainers in Afghanistan.  

The meeting in Mons, Belgium is being held as NATO forces are involved in a key operation in the southern Afghanistan Taliban stronghold of Marjah, trying to rout out the insurgency and establish a local government.  

But the NATO operation is deeply unpopular among the European public. On Saturday, the Netherlands government fell over the issue of extending the presence in Afghanistan of roughly 2,000 Dutch troops.

NATO spokesman Colonel Gregory Julian says during the one-day meeting in Mons the alliance hopes to secure pledges of 2,000 or more personnel to train the Afghan army and police.  

"It is an individual decision of each of the nations and we have been very pleased with all the contributions," Julian said. "And we are still encouraging additional contributions and that is what this process is all about."

NATO wants to boost the numbers of Afghan army and police by tens of thousands during the coming year.  But European members have fallen far short of their pledges.  

European Council on Foreign Relations security expert Daniel Korski expects NATO will secure additional European trainers, but not the numbers the alliance wants.  

"There will be some pledges, but the real problem on this question, as opposed to more general demands for troops, is that training is a really difficult task," Korski said. "It requires restructuring some of the army units to undertake it, it requires a willingness to take considerable risks, because trainers work quite closely with Afghan forces including in battle and have to rely on their Afghan colleagues in a way many NATO troops and many NATO governments are really uncomfortable [with]."

The expected Dutch pullout in Afghanistan has also sparked concerns that other European governments may consider following suit.  But Korski notes that despite European reservations, governments have steadily increased their presence in Afghanistan over the years, to about 32,000 troops today.  

"So while there are pressures on European governments to withdraw and there are governments that have begun, or will begin, European governments have come up with the goods on many occasions, even though it is hard to see from the headlines," Korski said.

The Mons meeting is part of a regular series of gatherings to get personnel for NATO's various missions around the globe.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid