As the US and NATO are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Western powers are looking for ways to continue to train the Afghan military. On Wednesday, Gen. Tod Wolters, who serves as both the head of US European Command and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, suggested that NATO might train Afghan special operations forces in Europe after the pullout.
“We want to work with Afghanistan from a NATO perspective and we’re in the process of looking at out-of-country special forces training in certain locations to bring NATO special forces activities out of, out of Afghanistan into a remote location, probably somewhere in Europe,” Wolters said at the Atlantic Council.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has also said the alliance is considering training the Afghan military outside of the country. Both the US and NATO plan to continue supporting the Afghan military financially. President Biden has earmarked $3.3 billion for the 2022 military budget that will go to the Afghan forces, a $300 million increase in assistance from 2021.
On Tuesday, US Central Command said the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was about half complete. While the withdrawal is moving along, questions remain about what sort of footprint the Pentagon wants to leave in the region. The US will likely keep a small troop presence in the country to protect its embassy, and the Pentagon wants to maintain its to bomb Afghanistan after the pullout.