Norway will continue to train and support Afghan special police in Kabul in 2017. Some 50 Norwegian personnel are involved in this project. Norway’s financial support for the Afghan security forces will be maintained at the current level of NOK 150 million a year in the period 2018-2020.
NATO’s Resolute Support Mission will be continued in 2017. This was decided at the foreign ministers’ meeting of NATO Allies in May 2016.
‘The security situation in Afghanistan is still precarious. The capability of the Afghan security forces has increased, but they are still lacking key support capacities that will take time to get in place. Now that NATO has decided to extend its mission, we feel it is right to continue Norway’s support,’ said Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.
At the Warsaw Summit, NATO will confirm that it will continue to provide funding for the Afghan security forces for the next financing period (2018-2020). Norway will continue its support at the current level of about NOK 150 million a year. This amount is divided between the UN Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan and the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. The long-term goal is for Afghanistan to cover these costs. ‘An extended military contribution must be accompanied by continued efforts to find a political solution. The political track is being closely pursued by Norway in talks with the Afghan Government, our allies and other key actors. We are also working to ensure that NATO’s partnership with Afghanistan supports stability and sustainability in the country,’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende said.
Norway’s contribution Norway currently has about 50 soldiers in Kabul and the surrounding region. Through the Special Operations Advisory Team (SOAT), we will continue our long-term follow-up of Crisis Response Unit 222 in Kabul. We are also participating in the UK-led Special Operations Advisory Group (SOAG) supporting the Afghan Ministry of Interior, which has the strategic leadership of the police special units. In addition, Norway has a small number of staff officers in the Resolute Support Mission headquarters in Kabul. This contribution will be continued for another year.
‘The Afghan police special units are visible, relevant and highly in demand. In view of the challenging security situation and the continuing need for counter-terrorist capacity, Norway will continue its tactical and strategic support to the Afghan special police. Our support to Crisis Response Unit 222 is provided within the framework of the Mission’s concept for capacity building: Train, Advise and Assist. That means that our personnel have a less prominent role when the unit is on assignment. The focus is on mentoring, with the option of providing direct support in extreme situations,’ said Ms Søreide.