World NATO chief says Afghan exit going well as 10 die in attacks
Afghans Are Dying to Come to the U.S. Before Troops Leave, Can Biden Save Them?
"We interpreters, we just try to help you to accomplish your mission in Afghanistanand since we did our part, I think the U.S. government should also do their part as well."One such individual, an Afghan former interpreter whom Newsweek will call Ahmad, knows firsthand the risks that come with the job, one he began working with U.S. government-affiliated projects shortly after high school.
BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military organization’s pullout from Afghanistan is going well, as at least six people were killed Tuesday in a series of attacks that plunged the country's capital, Kabul, into darkness.
NATO has helped provide security in Afghanistan for almost two decades, but it now believes the government and armed forces it has trained are strong enough to stand on their own in the conflict-torn country without the help of international troops.
Exclusive: France resists more joint funding of 'brain dead' NATO
Exclusive: France resists more joint funding of 'brain dead' NATOBRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - A $20 billion plan to give NATO more flexibility in facing military threats, climate change and China's rise has hit firm resistance from France, which fears the move could undermine its defence priorities, four diplomats and a French defence source said.
NATO took charge of security efforts in Afghanistan in 2003, two years after a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban for harboring former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Fewer than 9,000 troops remain, including up to 3,500 US personnel, and they are scheduled to leave by Sept. 11 at the latest.
“The drawdown of our forces is progressing in an orderly and coordinated way. At every step, the safety of our personnel remains paramount,” Stoltenberg told reporters after chairing virtual meetings of NATO’s foreign and defense ministers.
Australia Closing Afghanistan Embassy at End of Week Due to Security Concerns as U.S. Troops Withdraw
Australia is temporarily closing its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, later this week due to security concerns as U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from the country. © WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images A security personnel guards an entrance near the Australian embassy at the Green Zone in Kabul on May 25, 2021, after Australia abruptly announced to shutter its embassy in Afghanistan this week over security fears as foreign troops withdraw.
While NATO troops will no longer be in Afghanistan, the 30-nation alliance and its partners will continue to provide funding to what Stoltenberg described as the country’s “capable, strong security force.”
It remains unclear exactly how money will be channeled to the Afghan army, whichis made up of poorly trained, ill-equipped troops whose loyalties waver between their country and local warlords.
NATO ministers meet to prepare summit, Afghan withdrawal
BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO's foreign and defense ministers were meeting Tuesday to lay the groundwork for the military alliance's first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, setting aside four tumultuous years with the Trump administration. The ministers will discuss a hefty communique being drafted for the June 14 summit in Brussels, which will reaffirm the unity of the 30-nation security alliance — which has been riven by infighting in recent years — and focus on future threats and challenges. “This is a pivotal moment for our alliance, and our collective security,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on the eve of the meetings.
The experts say the Afghan armed forces, which are meant to be the bulwark against Taliban insurgents who have stepped up their attacks in recent months, is rife with corruption, demoralized and struggling to hold on to territory.
Three explosions rattled Kabul late Tuesday. Two bombs exploded in quick succession in separate locations in a western neighborhood, killing at least 10 people and wounding a dozen others, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry. A third blast heavily damaged an electrical grid station in north Kabul.
NATO “will continue our civilian diplomatic presence in Kabul, to provide advice and capacity-building support to Afghan security institutions,” Stoltenberg said. NATO diplomats said this week that it remains unclear who will protect those civilians or how Kabul's international airport will be secured.
The former Norwegian prime minister said that NATO is also studying ways to educate Afghan troops and train special forces soldiers outside the country. He said the ministers agreed that “this continued support is the best way in which we can all contribute to peace efforts in Afghanistan.”
Russia Vows to 'React If Necessary' to Increased NATO Activity in Ukraine
The alliance says the Sea Breeze drill is not aimed at Russia, but the Kremlin has warned that the exercise extends well beyond what it calls Ukraine's Black Sea zone.Moscow's defense spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, made the comments on Wednesday, ahead of the NATO exercise set to take place between June 28 and July 10. Sea Breeze will bring together forces from Ukraine, the United States, Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Latvia and partner nations.
NATO's departure from Afghanistan will figure high on the agenda of a summit in Brussels on June 14 led by U.S. President Joe Biden. No Afghan leaders will take part in the meeting.
It's time for Biden to shut NATO's doors .
It would be a major mistake if Biden and his NATO colleagues simply wax philosophically and avoid making the real changes that NATO needs.The NATO summit will have special resonance for Biden, who entered office promising to improve Washington's relations with allies in Europe and bring the military alliance back to the center of US foreign policy.