The NATO mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces was launched on January 1, 2015 as a follow-up on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission, which completed at the end of 2014. NATO foreign chiefs agreed in December 2015 to sustain the RSM presence during 2016.
“We took three decisions today. First, we agreed to sustain our ‘Resolute Support’ mission beyond 2016… Additional planning will be conducted in the coming months to define our overall presence in 2017… Third, we reaffirmed our support for a long-term political partnership and practical cooperation with Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg told journalists at NATO summit underway in Warsaw.
Non-US NATO member states will be providing around 12,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2017, Stoltenberg said.
“It is to early to provide exact numbers on the troop levels. But based on what has been committed in this meeting today, we can say that the troop levels will be around the same in 2017 as it is in 2016 and that is around 12,000 troops.”
Moreover NATO has decided to continue allocating some $5 billion per year to fund Afghanistan’s army and police until 2020.
The United States, as well as the alliance’s partners, are committed to maintain the given level of funding, Stoltenberg added.
Afghanistan is struggling with a political, economical and social crisis as it attempts to tackle the Taliban’s insurgency. The situation in the country has worsened in recent months, with the Taliban launching offensives in major cities.