Nato foreign ministers have finalised operational plans for the launch of a new Nato-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Established in December 2001, the Nato-led international security assistance force (ISAF) combat mission in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), is scheduled to stop at the end of this year, making Afghan troops and police fully responsible for security across the country. As such, a new mission has now been agreed.
During the meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: "Today, we endorsed the detailed operational plan for that new mission, called Resolute Support. But it is the Afghans who must take the next step. The necessary security agreements must be signed soon. Otherwise, we will not be able to keep any troops in Afghanistan from next year."
"This is not what we want, but unless we have the agreements in place, it will be the only option available."
In addition, the ministers reconfirmed their commitment to provide funding to the ANSF, while making clear that the Afghan Government should also fulfil their commitment to combat corruption and contribute an increasing amount to the funding of their own forces.
Expected to begin on 1 January 2015, the non-combat training and advisory effort will use between 8,000 to 12,000 soldiers to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
Image: Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a press conference. Photo: courtesy of Nato.