NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reaffirmed a new NATO led mission in Afghanistan beginning in 2015, reported Silk Road Newsline.
“It will be a training mission, with the purpose to train, assist, to give advice to the Afghan Security Forces. It will be a NATO-led mission, but we also expect contributions from partners outside NATO. Until now, six partners have announced that they are able to contribute to the training mission after 2014,” Rasmussen said in an interview in Kabul when ambassadors from the 28 NATO Allies and 7 ISAF partner countries visited Afghan capital last week to show their nation’s commitment to Afghanistan up to and beyond 2014.
Rasmussen did not name those six non-NATO countries but Grigol Mgaloblishvili, Permanent Representative of Georgia to NATO and a member of the ambassadorial delegation, has indicated that his country is on that list.
“It is extremely important that we will be supporting Afghanistan, Afghani people in the post-2014 period when the transition process ends. As you know the deliberations on training, assisting, and advising Afghani troops has already started among the Council members, the allied nations, but some of the partner countries have already been included in the early deliberations, and we appreciate that to be included at the early stage. Commitment of my country is unwavering,” Mgaloblishvili said in an interview.
Rasmussen also confirmed that Afghan Security Forces are gaining in strength and capabilities in order to take over the country’s security responsibilities to complete transition by the end of 2014.
“I don’t agree with the critics. We have seen with our own eyes, the capacity of the Afghan Security Forces. They conduct 85% of training activities themselves. We’ll take what measure are needed to prevent insider attacks and we know that the Afghans are very much focussed on that as well,” NATO Secretary-General said.
NATO and ISAF ambassadors also visited Camp Morehead, headquarters of the Afghan National Army’s Special Operations Command, where they watched a demonstration by Afghan Special Forces expected to be the backbone of the country’s security forces after they assume full responsibility for their country.
“This is my seventh trip to Afghanistan for the last five years, and I’m each time impressed to see the progress of the ANSF, and of course the Special Forces are known to do a very good job, so that was, therefore particularly rewarding to be able to come here and to actually see an exercise they conducted, and as far as I could see and judge, very well conducted,” Veronika Wand-Danielsson, Swedish Ambassador to NATO, said.
“NATO will be committed to continue in training advising and assisting effort after 2014. Our commitment to Afghanistan doesn’t end on December 31, 2014. It will continue through another decade of transformation. But I am confident that the Afghans themselves will be able to secure Afghanistan, and that’s how it should be,” Ivo Daalder, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, said in an interview.