NATO increase its Afghanistan training mission after U.S. shift

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Vastavam web: NATO is set to agree on Thursday to increase its Afghanistan training mission by some 3,000 troops, alliance officials said, after the United States switched tack in long-running efforts to defeat Taliban militants and end the conflict.Fresh NATO personnel will not have a combat role but the alliance hopes more soldiers can train the Afghan army and air force to complement U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to send more American counter-terrorism troops to the country.
NATO defence ministers are expected to approve the deployment in the latter part of a two-day meeting that starts on Wednesday.The West says it is determined to stabilise a country facing resurgent rebels 16 years after the United States sought to topple the Taliban rulers who had harboured the al Qaeda militants behind attacks on New York and Washington.Trump’s envoy to NATO, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson, said the U.S. goal was to show Taliban militants they could not win in military combat.
Trump’s strategy in Afghanistan, unveiled in August, rests on providing more troops, a stronger Afghan army, support from regional allies such as India and a harder line with Pakistan.There have been several attempts in recent years to broker a settlement between the Western-backed government in Kabul and the Taliban, but all have failed. Without the militants at the table, experts say it is hard to envisage a peace settlement.NATO allies have already promised almost $3 billion to help the United States fund the Afghan military until 2020, which is developing an air force to complement its ground forces