US Admiral: NATO Not Living Up to Afghan Training Pledges

NATO Contributes Less Than Half of Promised Trainers

America’s head of European Command Admiral James Stavridis today told the Senate that NATO was failing to live up to its pledges for providing more trainers for the Afghan security forces.

It is absolutely correct to say that NATO has fallen short in providing these vital trainers, Stavridis said, adding that NATO nations had promised 1,278 trainers but had provided less than half, only 541.

The announcement is somewhat surprising, as some NATO member nations had been keen to replace their combat commitments in whole or in part with trainers, seen as a much safer job. Still, it seems they are reluctant to actually come through with the trainers.

President Obama’s new strategy for December, as with his new strategy from last March and President Bush’s new strategy in late 2008, called for massive increases in the size of the Afghan military, but as the Karzai government struggles to bring a significant portion of its population into the poorly paid, poorly equipped military, a shortage of trainings is actually further hamstringing a military that is struggling not only to grow, but to replace the large number of disillusioned recruits who leave in short order.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.