West to pay Afghan military $4 bn a year: Karzai

By AFP
Published: March 22, 2012

Karzai's Western allies in the war against Taliban insurgents want to avoid the country descending into civil war after they leave. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KABUL: The international community will subsidise Afghan security forces by more than $4 billion a year for a decade after US-led combat forces leave Afghanistan in 2014, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday.

Western officials told AFP that no final agreement had been reached.

But Karzai told a graduation ceremony at a military academy in Kabul: “It’s set that post 2014, for the next 10 years until 2024 the international community, with the US in the lead and followed by Europe and other countries, will pay Afghanistan security forces $4.1 billion annually.”

It would cover both the army and “other armed forces”, he said, adding: “We agree and thank them.”

Karzai’s Western allies in the war against Taliban insurgents want to avoid the country descending into civil war after they leave.

But the United States recently circulated a proposal to cut Afghan forces from a targeted 352,000 in 2014 to 230,000 after NATO combat troops leave, and the $4.1 billion figure is a fraction of current Western spending on the war.

Questions remain over the military funding deal, said Karzai, with Kabul wanting to be able to spend the money on requirements other than salaries, such as weapons purchases.

“Afghanistan will be able to pay the salaries itself one day… but Afghanistan needs radar, air defence systems, warplanes, transport planes, helicopters and other equipments that improve the defence system,” he said.

“If NATO or America will not give us planes, will they prevent us using this money to buy planes for our air force from other countries? If we were to buy planes from India or Russia or Iran or Pakistan or Ukraine, will our (forces’) salaries still be paid from the NATO money?”

A Western official said that a final agreement on funding had yet to be reached, describing the $4.1 billion figure as an “initial assessment by the international community and the Afghan government of the future requirement for the long-term funding of the Afghan National Security Force”.

“The discussions are taking place now,” he said, adding that the target for agreement was the NATO summit on Afghanistan’s future in Chicago in May.

Another Western official said that some coalition members were as yet unwilling to pay their projected shares of the money.

Kabul and Washington have a frequently strained relationship, and are currently negotiating a separate strategic partnership agreement to establish the relationship between them after 2014.

Reader Comments (14)

  • Hamid Umair
    Mar 22, 2012 - 4:58PM

    @Hamid Karzai I can bet even if you get 40 billion $ per year still you would not be able to have rit of ur government outside Kabul. One day you will be also apologizing Talibans for sure for your deeds. If the same weapons, missiles are provided to Talibans they will throw you out from your palace in 1 week. So now time to repay is not so far by Talibans

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 22, 2012 - 5:30PM

    @Hamid Umair. How much is Pakistan’s military budget and what percentage of Pakistan does your govt actually control? Pot calling the kettle black.

    Recommend

  • Gladiators!
    Mar 22, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Afghanistan is a rising Central/South Asian power. I can bet on that!

    Recommend

  • sam
    Mar 22, 2012 - 5:56PM

    good yaar!

    Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Mar 22, 2012 - 7:04PM

    I just love all the haters posting negative comments about Karzai. Say what you will about the writ of the Afghan government or lack of it outside Kabul, there is ample evidence that this government is the best the Afghans have had since 1978. Karzai and his cabinet are working towards unifying the country despite the subversive activities of certain players in the region. Iran and Pakistan are embroiled in their own mess and they cannot sabotage or undermine the will of the Afghans to have a stable and united country.

    Recommend

  • Babbarsher khan
    Mar 22, 2012 - 7:05PM

    This will make possible some more ugly and monstrous villas in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood of Kabul and some more Afghan owned luxury apartments in Dubai! But Karzai would be lucky if he gets even ten percent of what has been promised!

    Recommend

  • u liar
    Mar 22, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Afghan National Army is becoming strong with each passing day. Continued Western investment in the institution will turn the Afghan Army into a formidable force. Within next 10 years, Afghanistan will be a key player in Central and South Asian region. Strong Army togethor with rich underground treasure.

    Recommend

  • Waziristani
    Mar 22, 2012 - 9:58PM

    It is a sad news for those who does not digest peaceful and strong Afghanistan. I am sure that Afghans have the power and will to make their country strong and stable.

    Recommend

  • ash2020
    Mar 22, 2012 - 10:24PM

    @Hamid Umair:
    V.well said totally agree

    Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2012 - 10:29PM

    I just don’t understand how come Pakistanis who have never been to Afghanistan and have never seen developments in both security and governance with their own eyes; and have mostly relied on Pakistani establishment-run propaganda machines i.e; Dharbi-e-Momin, Ummat, Ghazi, Takbeer and other newspapers (mainly Urdu) to get to know about this country, make judgments like calling Karzai the mayor of Kabul and Taliban occupying 75% of Afghanistan and blah blah blah.
    I have traveled all across Afghanistan and have never seen any armed Taliban militant brandishing his AK-47 in the crowded bazaar. I admit Taliban do have ‘movement of freedom’ in some parts of the country mostly mountainous terrains which resemble Pakistan’s FATA region, however, this does not mean they have 75% of Afghanistan under their control.
    Such kind of illusionist consensus of Pakistanis towards Afghanistan is purely based on jealousy.

    Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2012 - 10:35PM

    @Hamid Umair:

    If the same weapons, missiles are
    provided to Talibans they will throw
    you out from your palace in 1 week.

    I would say: If the same weapons, support (from a neighboring country) and safe havens (which Afghan Taliban now have) are provided to the TTP, they will topple Pakistani government in just three days.

    Recommend

  • zullu
    Mar 23, 2012 - 5:16AM

    @Afghan Karachite…… weapons/support from neighbouring country and safe heavens are already provided to TTP….this is the sole reason that they are still surviving…

    Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2012 - 6:11AM

    I would say: For Afghan Friends important to help support afghanistan system…..if we have system we can solve our problems……………………..

    s

    Recommend

  • Waziristani
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:46PM

    @Zalmai:
    Pakistanis are too much concerned with the writ of Afghan government outside Kabul. But Pakistani President and PM were roaming the streets and roads of waziristan the previous day. Recommend

More in World