Government to contribute military personnel to new NATO mission in Afghanistan

The government has decided to contribute 100 military personnel to the new NATO mission in Afghanistan. This mission, Resolute Support, follows on from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and will commence on 1 January 2015. The Dutch contribution will consist of trainers, medical personnel, a transport and protection unit, and a logistics unit.

The personnel will be stationed in the north of Afghanistan, near the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Germany is leading the NATO mission in this region. Dutch nationals will also continue working in staff functions in Kabul.

The aim of Resolute Support is to further develop a professional army and police security apparatus. Whereas in Uruzgan Dutch military personnel were responsible for security in the province and in Kunduz had the task of training high numbers of recruits on the ground, in the new mission they and their colleagues will be advising senior police and army officers. Responsibility for security in Afghanistan will be entirely in Afghan hands.

A well-functioning security sector is an important prerequisite for achieving security and restoring the rule of law in Afghanistan. It will also help ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for terrorists, who pose a threat not only to the Afghan population but also the international legal order. This is why the Netherlands is contributing to Resolute Support.

A further precondition for the deployment of Dutch military personnel is the signing of mission agreements by the new Afghan president with the United States and NATO respectively.

In addition to the Netherlands, 27 other NATO member states have offered to contribute to Resolute Support. Eleven partner countries will also contribute towards the mission.