As the US is withdrawing from Afghanistan, Pentagon officials have made it clear they would continue to support the Afghan government financially after the pullout. President Biden’s proposed military budget for 2022 includes a major increase in funding for the Afghan military.
The budget would give $3.3 billion to Afghan forces, a $300 million increase from 2021. The fund, known as the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, would pay for military equipment, training, and some infrastructure.
While the US says it is leaving, the Pentagon still seeks $8.9 billion to cover “direct war costs” in Afghanistan for 2022, about a $4 billion reduction from this year. Anne McAndrew, an acting undersecretary of defense, said this money would cover “an over-the-horizon capability outside Afghanistan.”
“Over-the-horizon capability” is Pentagon jargon for the ability to bomb Afghanistan after the withdrawal. Military officials have floated the idea of moving forces into neighboring countries, but the US has few basing agreements in the region.
The Taliban has been warning its neighbors against hosting US troops. Pakistan has already ruled out the possibility that US forces leaving Afghanistan would be redeployed there.