• publish: 22 November 2015
  • time: 10:47 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 2306
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NATO to increase involvement in Afghanistan

NATO is set to increase its support for Afghanistan’s security forces, after alliance members approved a classified report prepared for upcoming ministers’ talks, diplomatic sources said.

In the document, Nato has agreed, among other things, to look into the possibility of sharing intelligence with Afghan security forces. This could help prevent incidents such as recent Taliban attacks for which local authorities were unprepared.

Nato trainers are also due to be deployed more in the country’s conflict areas. Protection in an emergency would be provided by alliance airstrikes, according to the report.

Nato would not confirm the content of the report, but a spokesman said that the situation in Afghanistan would be discussed at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on December 1-2.

In the run-up to those talks, alliance members are due to pledge troop contributions for all ongoing Nato missions, during a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday at Nato’s military headquarters in the Belgian town of Mons.

Nato’s current training and support mission for Afghanistan, codenamed Resolute Support, comprises around 13 000 troops. Any combat activity is restricted to self-defence.

The German government decided on Wednesday to increase its presence in Afghanistan to a maximum of 980 soldiers – 130 more than at present.

Legal experts say that any expansion of Resolute Support, even to share photographic intelligence or information about planned attacks on Taliban outposts, would require a new mandate from the German parliament.

The report is less negative about the security situation in Afghanistan than recent Taliban attacks may suggest, Nato sources said. Afghan security forces are capable in many areas, such as the ability to carry out operations spanning several weeks, they noted.

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