NATO chief says ‘no guarantee of success’ in Afghanistan
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this week there is no guarantee of success in Afghanistan but that the organization will meet with incoming US President Joe Biden’s team in February in order to make a decision on whether to stay in the country or withdraw all its troops.
“If we stay, of course there is the risk that we will see increased fighting, violence, and that we will remain engaged in a long-term military conflict in Afghanistan,” he said.
He stated that “it’s a fragile peace process” currently and that there is “no guarantee of success”.
“But the ongoing talks in #Doha between the Afghan government and Taliban is the only path to peace, and NATO strongly supports those efforts.
“We will have another meeting in February with the new Biden administration and then make our decisions,” Stoltenberg said.
This comes amid what he described as a #fragile_peace process – intra-Afghan negotiations, which are set to resume in Doha, Qatar, on January 5.
However, in February the US signed an agreement with the Taliban agreeing to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by April next year.
Already the US is down to only about 4,000 troops, from 13,000 a year ago, and by #mid-January only 2,500 will remain.
According to Military.com, NATO had about 11,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of November – a figure that includes US troops.
The largest contingents from other nations include Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy. Each had roughly between 900 and 1,000 troops supporting the effort as of June.
#Stoltenberg’s_interview with dpa comes a month after he expressed concern about the #US’s_withdrawal plan, saying the Taliban had not kept its end of the deal and a hasty withdrawal of troops could make the country a haven for terror groups.
“As you know, the United States has announced that it will reduce its presence in Afghanistan. But the #NATO_mission will remain,