NATO summit makes no decision on troop levels in Afghanistan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25 that the alliance had not yet made a decision on foreign troop levels in Afghanistan for 2018 but that all NATO members supported the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, TOLOnews agency reports.

“We reviewed our training mission in Afghanistan, and we agreed that we will continue to sustain our mission. I welcome that several Allies came forward today with new troop contributions. And on the basis of our review, we will take further decisions in the coming weeks,” Stoltenberg said.

He again reiterated that Afghanistan is a difficult challenge but said NATO feels that progress is being made in the country. He also commended the professionalism of the Afghan security forces.

The alliance agreed an action plan was needed to do more in the fight against terrorism and Stoltenberg announced that NATO will become a full member of the Global Coalition but that this does not mean it will engage in combat.

The Alliance will increase its support to the Coalition, with NATO AWACS surveillance planes helping to improve airspace management.

“We also decided to establish a terrorism intelligence cell within our new Intelligence Division. This will improve the sharing of information among Allies, including on the threat of foreign fighters,” said Stoltenberg.

NATO leaders also agreed to do more to ensure fairer burden sharing across the alliance.

“Today, we decided to develop annual national plans, setting out how allies intend to meet the defense investment pledge we made together in 2014. The national plans will cover three major areas: cash, capabilities, and contributions,” Stoltenberg said.

Some countries and some senior US officials have questioned whether an increase in foreign troop numbers would change the course of the war in Afghanistan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA