Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan

  • Last updated: 10 Nov. 2017 13:43

Following the completion of the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) at the end of 2014, a new, follow-on, NATO-led mission called Resolute Support was launched on 1 January 2015 to provide further training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions. At the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Allied leaders decided to extend the presence of RSM beyond 2016.

NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems signing the Status of Forces Agreement on behalf of NATO

Some 13,000 personnel from NATO member states and partner countries are deployed in support of the Resolute Support Mission (RSM). The mission operates with one central hub (in Kabul/Bagram) and four spokes in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Laghman.

Key functions include:

  • Supporting planning, programming and budgeting;
  • Assuring transparency, accountability and oversight;
  • Supporting the adherence to the principles of rule of law and good governance;
  • Supporting the establishment and sustainment of such processes as force generation, recruiting, training, managing and development of personnel.

The detailed operation plan for Resolute Support was approved by NATO foreign ministers at the end of June 2014.

In December 2015, at the foreign ministers’ meeting of NATO Allies and their RSM partners, it was agreed to sustain the RSM presence, including in the regions of Afghanistan, during 2016. Six months later, in May 2016, they agreed to sustain the RSM presence beyond 2016. At a meeting of defence ministers in November 2017, RSM troop-contributing nations confirmed that the number of troops deployed would increase from around 13,000 to around 16,000 troops.

The legal framework for RSM is provided by a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which was signed in Kabul on 30 September 2014 by the Afghan President and NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, and later ratified by the Afghan Parliament on 27 November 2014. The SOFA defines the terms and conditions under which NATO forces will be deployed in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support, as well as the activities that they are set to carry out under this agreement.

The United Nations Security Council welcomed the Resolute Support Mission with the unanimous adoption on 12 December 2014 of Resolution 2189, which underscores the importance of continued international support for the stability of Afghanistan.

Beyond the training, advice and assistance mission, Allies and partner countries are committed to the broader international community’s support for the long-term financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces until the end of 2020 (see ANA Trust Fund ).

Afghanistan: Resolute Support Mission