As the US and NATO are withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the Western powers are still hoping to maintain influence in the country. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that the military alliance will train Afghan forces outside of Afghanistan after NATO troops leave.
“We are planning to provide military education and training outside Afghanistan, focusing on Special Operations Forces,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Paris. He said the alliance will provide “advice and capacity-building support” as well as “continued financial support” to the Afghan military.
The US military is currently working out what its post-withdrawal plans in Afghanistan will look like. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has said that training Afghan forces in another country is an option under consideration.
Stoltenberg said NATO is also looking to provide funds to support “the functioning of Kabul airport.” Earlier this week, Milley said the US and its allies were looking into ways to ensure that the Afghan military can keep the Kabul airport secure.
On Tuesday, US Central Command said the withdrawal process was between 13 and 20 percent complete, although the command is not disclosing troop numbers. President Biden ordered troops to be out by September 11th. According to a report from Stars and Stripes, some of Washington’s NATO allies are going to leave Afghanistan well before the September deadline.