By the end of 2014, Afghan National Security Forces will assume full security responsibility for their people and country, and ISAF’s mission will end. The process of transition to full Afghan security responsibility – known as “Inteqal” in Dari and Pashtu – was launched in 2011 and is well underway. Following the launch of the fifth and final tranche of the transition process in June 2013, Afghan forces are in the lead for security across the whole country.
Increasing ANSF capacity and leadership has allowed the ISAF mission to evolve, shifting progressively from a combat-centric role to a more enabling role focusing on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces to ensure that they are able to assume their full security responsibilities by the end of transition. ISAF continues to provide combat support, as necessary, while pursuing a measured redeployment in a coordinated and coherent manner, until the scheduled completion of transition at the end of 2014.
NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan after the completion of the transition process stands firm. At NATO’s Summit in Chicago in May 2012, Allies agreed to a follow-on NATO-led mission to continue supporting the development of the Afghan security forces post-2014. The detailed concept for the new NATO-led mission (known as “Resolute Support”) to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014 was endorsed in June 2013, at a meeting attended by NATO Defence Ministers and their counterparts from ISAF troop-contributing nations and Afghanistan. The NATO-led post-2014 mission will not be a combat mission. It will be a mission to provide training, advice and assistance, focused on national and institutional-level training, and the higher levels of army and police command across the country. The ten partner nations which have expressed an interest to participate in the training mission associated themselves with that decision.
At the Chicago Summit, Allied leaders and their partners committed to play their part in the financial sustainment of the ANSF after 2014. The responsibility to contribute to the financing of this effort is one for the international community as a whole. NATO will participate in that process, by developing appropriate, coherent and effective funding mechanisms and expenditure arrangements for all strands of the ANSF.
Wider cooperation between NATO and Afghanistan beyond 2014 is also being developed within the framework of the NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership, whose declaration was signed by NATO and the Afghan Government at NATO’s Lisbon Summit in 2010 (see below).
At the July 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan (Tokyo Declaration), the broader international community and the Afghan Government laid the groundwork for the sustainable development of Afghanistan, taking into account the situation after 2014. At the conference, the Afghan government also made clear commitments to making progress in the a number of areas, including: to hold inclusive, transparent and credible elections; to fight corruption and improve good governance; to uphold the constitution, especially human rights; and to enforce the rule of law. (Tokyo Annex on mutual accountability).