NATO Officials Fight Back Against Reducing Size of Afghan Military

Cuts Would Be 'Delayed' Until 2017

There are many ways that the NATO occupation of Afghanistan is to remain a major expense for decades to come, but perhaps the most significant is the massive Afghan military. Created by NATO as a way to escalate the conflict without adding more of their own troops, the Afghan military is expected to cost $6 billion a year going forward.

And that’s about $6 billion more than the Afghan government has to spend. Earlier this year NATO proposed a plan to trim the military by about a third, cutting the costs a bit beyond 2014.

Now NATO’s defense and foreign ministers are moving hard against the effort, saying that the cuts would threaten the war. Instead they are pushing a new scheme that would delay the cuts until at least 2017.

Still and all, this will be $6.2 billion a year in costs until 2017, and over $4.1 billion after. No one seems to know where that money is coming from, and beyond Britain’s $110 million pledge there has been no offer of funds. The assumption seems to be that the US will cover the difference.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of