News / Asia

NATO’s Post-2014 Afghan Mission Uncertain

Italian soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Sept, 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)
Italian soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Sept, 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)
As Kabul and Washington are finalizing a bilateral security and defense agreement to define the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, some NATO members have also indicated a willingness to keep troops in the country after their UN-authorized mandate expires on December 31 2014.
 
Allied states such as Germany, Britain and even Georgia have said they will each keep forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 under a redefined NATO mission.
 
However, it’s yet to be decided, between Kabul and NATO, under what arrangements NATO forces will remain in Afghanistan alongside their U.S. allies.
 
“In principle we’re not opposed to NATO’s presence in Afghanistan after 2014 but NATO has to come up with proposals and we’ll discuss as we have with the U.S.,” Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai told VOA’s Dari Service.
 
“We would not prefer bilateral agreements with every state but prefer an agreement with NATO that will cover all forces operating under NATO’s command,” said Faizi adding that small NATO member states like Georgia could not provide effective help to Afghanistan in its tough challenges to peace, he said.  
 
U.S. needs allies
 
Michael O’Hanlon, an expert at Brookings Institution says the U.S. will need its NATO allies present in Afghanistan post-2014 as it embarks on a new mission there.
 
“The Obama Administration wants to keep U.S. forces level [in Afghanistan] as low as possible partly for budgetary reasons and also because it’s important to have international legitimacy that comes with a multinational approach,” O’Hanlon said.
 
As of October 2013, more than 86-thousand service personnel from 49 countries, with 60,000 of them from the U.S., were deployed under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) structure in Afghanistan, according to NATO figures.
 
NATO has 28 member states but 21 other allied states like Jordan, Bahrain and Mongolia have also contributed troops to ISAF.
 
Some countries such as Canada and the Netherlands have already withdrawn forces from Afghanistan and it is still unclear how many of the remaining allied states would like to keep a military footprint there after 2014.
 
“Everyone has been waiting to see what happens to the U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral security agreement,” said O’Hanlon, “I would assume, however, that the agreement with United States could be a template and a model for other countries.” 
 
End of UN role
 
The UN Security Council has authorized NATO’s mission in Afghanistan under resolution 2120 which will expire on December 31 2014 and with that the UN role in authorizing the mission will come to an end.
 
While authorized by the UN Security Council since 2003 on annual basis, NATO-led ISAF is not a UN peacekeeping force. Its mandate covers operations such as conducting stability and security actions to assisting in the development of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
 
“The new mandate of NATO in Afghanistan will be very limited and mostly related to training and equipping ANSF,” said Aimal Faizi.
 
Speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity, one senior Afghan official said President Karzai would not offer immunity from Afghan laws to non-U.S. NATO troops.
 
Raids on Afghan homes, another prerogative offered to U.S. forces in Afghanistan under exceptional circumstances, would also be denied to NATO allies, the official said.
 
It took the U.S. over a year and numerous rounds of contentious negotiations to finalize a draft security and defense agreement with the Karzai government. It is still unclear whether President Karzai will eventually put his signature on the agreement, now approved by a Loya Jirga of 2,500 delegates from across Afghanistan, in the next five months of his presidency.
 
If the U.S. – Afghanistan draft security agreement is a lesson to learn from, any agreement with NATO countries will be a matter for the next president of Afghanistan to deal with.

Akmal Dawi is a managing editor at Voice Of America’s Dari Service.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wahid from: Kabul
December 08, 2013 9:27 AM
As we see all Afghanistan people want to be signed the security agreement with US and this matter effect a lot to all the thing in Afghanistan no buddy feel secure until this agreement signed so we all want the agreement must signed very soon . thanks

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid