NATO Set to Continue Funding Huge Afghan Army

Poised to Abandon Deal to Cut Troops After 2014

by Jason Ditz, February 21, 2013

Just a week after Gen. Lloyd Austin had expressed support for such a move, NATO is moving forward with a plan to keep the massive Afghan Army, currently at 352,000, at its present size for the foreseeable future.

The problem with such an enormous military is that the Afghan government has little to no money to pay for it, and NATO is essentially on the hook for all of the funding of the Afghan military, with the US paying the vast majority.

NATO had previously agreed to reduce the size of the Afghan military by approximately a third after the end of 2014, but officials confirm a plan is being negotiated now to abandon that agreement and keep the current size through at least 2018.

Officials say the additional funding, which will have the US shelling out several billion dollars annually pretty much forever, is important for “confidence” in the Afghan government, and vital to continuing the “success” of the past 12 years of occupation.

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