By: Suraya Raiszada
Afghanistan allies particularly NATO have stressed on providing financial support to Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) till 2024.
NATO Allies and partners have recently met at the plenary meeting of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board and “reviewed the implementation of their financial contributions in support to the Afghan security forces, discussed contributions for 2021 and reiterated their commitment to provide financial support to the Afghan security forces through 2024.”
In the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “The organization’s commitments help underpin the confidence that our financial support to the Afghan security forces will continue to be strong beyond 2020. International funding support to the Afghan forces is a key pillar of our commitment to Afghan security. As of 5 October 2020, total cumulative contributions made to the Trust Fund since its establishment amount to over 3,2 billion US dollars.”
The NATO-run Afghan National Army Trust Fund was created in 2007 and was intended to enhance the effectiveness and sustainment of the Afghan security forces by funding activities ranging from installation of donated equipment to training, literacy courses, professional military education, and capacity building.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan government has welcomed NATO’s recent decision for insisting on providing financial support to ANDSF, saying that the country’s defense and security forces need NATO’s financial support until they reach full sufficiency.
“Afghanistan government is appreciating NATO for its meaningful, valuable and strategic cooperation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” said Sediq Sediqi, a spokesperson to Presidential Office.
He added that ANDSF have been now considered as key partners of Afghanistan allies as they were protecting common interests in the region.
A number of Afghan experts and lawmakers while welcoming NATO’s continued financial support to ANDSF are stressing that Afghanistan still need strong international cooperation in counter terrorism.
“Unfortunately current international counter terrorism strategy is being implemented in wrong geography; therefore, the strategy is about fail and defeated,” said Haroon Mir, an Afghan political expert.
He stressed that the counter terrorism strategy can be effective only when Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are fully equipped so that they could take full responsibility for defending the country and maintaining security.
Amir Mohammad, another Afghan expert, says huge presence of NATO and US forces has not been able to provide security to the people of Afghanistan in the past 19 years. He added that now it now time for NATO to fully equip and train ANDSF so that they could keep on fighting terrorist groups in the country.
This comes amid of increasing insecurities in various parts of the country as serious fighting is continuing in Helmand, Kandahar, Faryab, Takhar, Kunduz, Badakhshan and some other provinces, while peace talks are underway between Afghanistan government and Taliban in Qatar.