NATO To Discuss Afghan Training Mission
October 10, 2012
NATO defense ministers are expected to discuss Afghanistan on the second and final day of a NATO meeting in Brussels.
Talks will likely focus on the new NATO training mission of police and army set to start once all NATO combat troops leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
The meeting comes amid worries in NATO over a rising number of attacks by Afghan police and soldiers on international troops.
More than 50 foreign soldiers have been killed so far this year in so-called green-on-blue, or insider attacks.
The UN envoy for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, meanwhile, has dismissed predictions Afghanistan is headed for collapse once the foreign troops leave, saying the international community will continue to support the country.
His comments come a day after the outgoing head of the International Red Cross mission in Afghanistan, Reto Stocker, said civilians are in greater danger with less hope for peace than when he arrived seven years ago.
The International Crisis Group's senior Afghan analyst Candace Rondeaux has said the Afghan army and police are not ready for the transition. She also warned Afghanistan could be pushed to a "breaking point" if the presidential election in 2014 is tainted by allegations of corruption, possibly stoking tensions amongst the public.
The constitution bars Afghan President Hamid Karzai from running for a third term.
Inside Afghanistan, clashes were reported October 9 between Taliban fighters and Afghan police in the Archi district of Kunduz province in the north.
Four policemen were killed, said provincial police spokesman Sarwar Hussaini.
Analysts say casualties among Afghan security forces are up as international forces draw down in numbers and Afghan troops take on more of a leading role in the war against the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
Based on AP and dpa reporting
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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