High praise for bravery, determination of Afghan forces

November 15, 2017

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Nov. 15, 2017 — The NATO secretary general praised the bravery, determination and increasing capability of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces at a press conference here Tuesday.

Before a meeting of NATO’s defence ministers at the alliance’s headquarters, Jens Stoltenberg also said the Afghan people continue to demonstrate a remarkable resilience and hope for peace.

On Thursday, NATO and Resolute Support operational partners meet here to discuss Afghanistan and the NATO-led mission there.

“NATO will review our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan together with our partners.  We will be joined by Afghanistan’s acting defence minister who will brief on the security situation and on the progress his government is making on essential reforms,” Stoltenberg added. “Around 13,000 troops from 39 different countries currently serve in our Resolute Support Mission. The United States is already increasing its commitment as part of the new South Asia Strategy.  And many other allies and partners will also send more troops in the months to come to support Afghanistan’s efforts against international terrorism and for peace and reconciliation.”

Defence ministers from all 39 troop contributing nations to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission are expected to take stock of the progress that the Afghan security forces and institutions continue to make.

They are also expected to reaffirm the NATO and partners’ commitment to keep Resolute Support under review and maintain a conditions-based approach to the effort in Afghanistan.

They are expected to decide on what more can be done to strengthen efforts to train, advise, and assist the ANDSF — so NATO can continue to support its Afghan partners in the most effective way.

“Perhaps the most important contribution now is that we have decided to increase the number of troops,” Stoltenberg said. “We need to strengthen the train and assist and advise mission to help the Afghans break the stalemate, to send a clear message to Taliban, to the insurgents, that they will not win on the battleground, the only way they can achieve anything is by sitting down at the negotiating table and be part of a peaceful negotiated political solution.”