President Obama joined NATO leaders at the NATO Summit in Strasbourg-Kehl to celebrate sixty years of peace and security within the Alliance as the foundation for a Europe whole, free and at peace. The summit demonstrates the transatlantic commitmaent to the success and ongoing transformation of the Alliance to meet today’s security challenges. From meeting NATO’s crucial security tasks in Afghanistan to adapting NATO to confront new threats, NATO remains as vital to our common security in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century.
NATO’s Commitment to Success in Afghanistan
Allies strongly endorsed President Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan, reaffirming and building on the strategic consensus achieved at the March 31 International Conference on Afghanistan in The Netherlands, and committed to helping Afghans take on more responsibility for their political future and for protecting the Afghan people. In what was a down payment on greater international support for this strategy, NATO Allies and partners announced today that they will:
– Establish a NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, drawing on NATO’s successful experience training in Iraq, to oversee higher level training for the Afghan National Army while training and mentoring the Afghan National Police;
– Support this Afghan National Police training, including through the contributions of several allies who have committed over 300 new para-military trainers and mentors;
– Fully resource the remaining requirements identified for the Election Support Force by deploying additional forces to assist the Afghan authorities in safeguarding the upcoming elections, which involves the deployment of over 3,000 new maneuver forces and required equipment from both allied and partner nations;
– Provide over 70 NATO embedded training teams (OMLTs – Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) required for 2009 to support the progressive enlargement of the Afghan National Army to a size of 134,000;
– Expand the NATO Afghan National Army Trust Fund to include sustainment costs for an expanded Afghan National Army (allies provided a down payment of over $100 million);
– Build a broader political and practical relationship with Pakistan;
– Increase ongoing civilian reconstruction commitments through substantially enhanced support for civilian efforts and reconstruction (allies noted about $500 million in ongoing and new civilian support today).