By: Suraya Raiszada
NATO defense ministers have discussed Afghanistan situation in Brussels and once again insisted on continued counter terrorism and cooperation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The promise came on October 25 at the end of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed an unchanged position on Afghanistan, saying: “NATO remains committed and we continue to support the Afghan forces.” Stoltenberg added that, while the U.S.-led NATO deployment would be “constantly adjusted,” its continued presence was needed “to send a message to the Taliban that they need to compromise” to reach a peace deal.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan acting minister of defense Asadullah Khalid has called on the Taliban to stop violence and join peace process, saying that ANDSF would stand against Taliban fighters if choosing violence.
Acting minister of defense by praising NATO for its continued support to ANDSF said Afghan security forces seriously needed the support of the international community in particular NATO in war on terror.
A number of Afghan experts and lawmakers while welcoming NATO’s continued cooperation with Afghanistan are stressing that Afghanistan needs continued and powerful cooperation of the international community for counter terrorism.
“Unfortunately current counter terrorism strategy is being implemented in the wrong geography as the strategy has somehow faced with failure,” said Harun Mir, an Afghan political expert.
He stressed that the strategy and counter terrorism would be effective when ANDSF were fully equipped with modern military equipment so that they could defend their country and people in a better way.
“Afghanistan government is not able to lonely fight terrorist groups in the country as counter terrorism and extremism needs world determination,” Harun Mir added.
Amir Mohammad, another Afghan expert believes that foreign forces have not been able to maintain security in Afghanistan for the past 18 years; therefore, it is time for NATO to fully equip the Afghan security forces and pay further concentration to their professional military trainings to enable them fight terrorist groups and maintain security in the country.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan citizens say the international community should not leave Afghanistan alone in war on terror as terrorist groups are still active in the country. They are asking the international community in particular NATO member countries to cooperate with Afghanistan in equipping and funding the Afghan national defense and security forces so that the Afghan security forces can independently take steps against terrorist groups and maintain security in the country. “Presence of NATO in particular US forces is a need in Afghanistan as the people are facing with serious threats posed by terrorist groups in the country and the security situation is fragile,” said Farzana, an Afghan university lecturer.
Currently, thousands of NATO and US forces are deployed in Afghanistan where they are engaged in counter terrorism effort as well as training and advising the country’s national defense and security forces.