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    Some countries such as Canada and the Netherlands have already withdrawn forces from Afghanistan and it is still unclear how many of the remaining allied states would like to keep a military footprint there after 2014.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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.