Ministers agree the framework for a new, post-2014 Afghanistan mission
Defence Ministers from NATO Allies and ISAF partner nations on Wednesday (10 October) endorsed the broad political framework for a new training, advising and assisting mission in Afghanistan after 2014.
This framework will guide NATO’s military authorities as they take the planning process forwards for this new mission.
“When our ISAF mission ends at the end of 2014, we will offer a new mission to provide training, advice and assistance; this new mission will not be a combat mission” explained the Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the beginning of the meeting. A more detailed outline for this mission will be completed early next year, with a complete plan agreed well before the end of 2013.
During the meeting, Ministers of the 50 nations which contribute to the current NATO-led mission stressed their continued commitment to Afghanistan and to completing the transition process by the end of 2014. “We will support the Afghan forces until they can take full responsibility for their country’s security” said the Secretary General. “And between now and the end of 2014, as the Afghans continue to step forward, you will see drawdowns and redeployments of ISAF forces. This is not about speeding up. It is part of the plan. This is a careful, deliberate and coordinated process involving all ISAF partners and the Afghan Government”, he clarified.
Defence Ministers reflected both on progress and on remaining challenges in the country. Among these challenges are insider attacks. The Secretary General said that Allies were working hard with our Afghan partners to mitigate the problem.
“We have a strong shared interest in working together to confront this threat. And we are dealing with it together” said the Secretary General. He added that ISAF and the Afghans have taken numerous measures to reduce the risk of insider attacks, including improved vetting and screening, counter-intelligence, and cultural awareness – and we are constantly refining our approach. “The enemies of Afghanistan are using insider attacks to try and undermine trust and public confidence. This will not work” said the Secretary General. “We will not allow the enemy to change our strategy and undermine the trust and confidence we have built”.
“No one can drive a wedge between ISAF and our Afghan partners. We remain fully committed to supporting the Afghan security forces as we transition full security control to them by the end of 2014” said the Secretary General.