NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan

  • 04 Apr. 2009
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  • Last updated: 04 Apr. 2009 15:49

NATO’s Heads of State and Government at the Alliance’s 60th Anniversary Summit meeting in Strasbourg-Kehl, announced today the establishment of a NATO Training Mission for Afghanistan (NTM-A). This mission will further support the development of capable and self-sustaining Afghan National Security Forces. It will comprise senior-level mentoring of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and an expanded role in developing professional Afghan National Police (ANP).

The mission will operate under a dual-hatted command, with a single commander for both the US-led Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan (CSTC-A) and the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan. The mission will provide higher-level training for the ANA, including defence colleges and academies, and will be responsible for doctrine development, as well as training and mentoring for the ANP. This will reflect the Afghan Government’s policing priorities and will complement existing training and capacity development programmes, including the European Union Police Mission and the work of  the International Police Coordination Board (IPCB).

Today’s decision recognises the complementary roles played by the ANA and ANP in bringing security to Afghanistan. The establishment of a coordinated training mission under a single NATO framework will help to focus Allied and partner contributions, allowing improvements to the international training effort.

Although there has been significant progress in the development of the ANA, ANP development lags behind The decision also recognises that efforts to support the development of the ANP need to be enhanced and reinforced as the police play a highly visible and critical role in bringing stability across the country.

In practical terms, the new mission means bringing most of current army and police training under a single umbrella, drawing on and better utilising resources that are already in theatre. NATO’s military authorities will work over the coming weeks to determine the appropriate command structure for NTM-A to enable it to conduct police training and mentoring.  The military authorities, in consultation with the Afghan Ministries of Defence and Interior, CSTC-A, EUPOL, and the International Police Coordination Board, will also examine and determine an appropriate level of  skill development for the various Afghan police forces.