Nato: Afghan support at risk without status accord

2014-01-27 22:28
Afghan flag

Afghan flag

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - Afghanistan cannot continue stalling on a post-2014 US and Nato troop status accord without jeopardising essential financial support for its armed forces, Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned on Monday.

"The Afghan political leadership should not underestimate the negative impact [refusing to sign a deal] has... in troop-contributing countries," Rasmussen said.

If there is no agreement establishing the legal status of a US-Nato training mission after the alliance ends its combat role this year, then there is every likelihood "we will end up with the zero [troop] option".

That means a complete withdrawal - as happened with US forces in Iraq in 2011 - and no post-2014 training and advisory mission to help the Afghan military cope with what is expected to be a resurgent Taliban rebel force.

"If we do not have a troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014... it will be extremely difficult to generate financial support" for the Afghan military, he said.

At 352 000 soldiers, "I do not know how the Afghan government will be able to pay [for them]... if it does not get financial support from the financial community."

The absence of foreign troops could "also put development assistance in jeopardy", Rasmussen said, adding: "That is what is at stake for Afghan society."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday said talks on the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) were close to collapse.

"Afghanistan will absolutely not accept or sign anything under pressure. If they want to leave, then they go and we will continue our lives," Karzai said.

Washington originally wanted the BSA signed in October to allow adequate time to plan the Nato training mission which could include up to 10 000 American troops.

Karzai refuses to sign, however, suggesting his successor should make the final decision after presidential elections on 5 April.

Karzai also insists, as he did again on Saturday, that Washington must stop military operations in the meantime and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

A senior Nato official said that given the apparent impasse, it was "time to be completely clear" with the Afghan government and that while there was no deadline, there was little leeway left either.

Read more on:    nato  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.