Europe should be more involved in Afghanistan, according to Stoltenberg

On Wednesday 27 September in a joint press conference with US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that support for Afghanistan is in Europe's interest but stressed that the support would remain non-combatant. NATO thus responds to the US request for Europe's greater involvement in the Resolute Support Mission, which would accompany the increase in the number of deployed US soldiers under its new strategy.

According to Mattis, the new strategy introduces a holistic approach which is condition-based, not time-based, and which should lead to a more effective fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. This confirmation of the Alliance's commitment comes in a post-election period in Germany when the support for engagement in Afghanistan is unclear. Although Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has supported the mission, her potential coalition partners, the Greens and Free Democrats (FDP), are more sceptical. The future involvement of Italy is also uncertain since the 5-Star Movement, which plans to withdraw Italy's more than 1,000 troops from Afghanistan, is gaining power.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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