Accessibility links

Breaking News

Afghanistan Says Help Needed to Deal With Foreign Threats

A fully-fledged Afghan national security force, including army and police, will cost about $5 billion a year after international forces pull out in 2014, according to the Afghan defense minister, Kabul, October 18, 2011.

Afghanistan says it needs international help to deal with potential foreign threats, particularly after coalition troops leave the country in 2014.

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said Tuesday that while the country's security forces are capable of defending themselves against the Taliban and other insurgents, more advanced weaponry such as fighters jets were needed to defend against an invading army.

Wardak did not name any potential regional threats, but tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been heightened in recent months.

The Afghan defense minister told reporters in Kabul that the country's army and police will need roughly $5 billion a year after international combat troops pull out in three years.

Foreign forces have begun transferring security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts.

Wardak also noted Tuesday that the cost of sustaining Afghanistan's security forces will depend on the level of violence in the country once the international withdrawal is complete.

Afghan defense officials also addressed reports of Afghan and NATO troop movement in eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistani border.

Wardak said security forces were launching a new push against the militant Haqqani network, which is blamed for a number of high profile attacks in Afghanistan.

The al-Qaida-linked group is believed to be based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region.

Militants often cross the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.