NATO extends funding to Afghan forces until 2024

NATO has extended funding to Afghan defense and security forces until 2024, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday, following the end of two-day summit in Brussels.

“We provide support to the  Afghan army and security forces in different ways. We provide training and funding and what we decided today was to continue both with training and funding,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a news conference in Brussels.

“Our current commitment to funding is 2020,  now we have decided to have funding to 2024,” he added.

Stoltenberg stressed that the money and the training which NATO provides would be used to strengthen the Afghan forces in many different areas.

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Drug labs still finance Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan

More than hundreds of drug production facilities are still operating in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Hayatullah Hayat, provincial governor of Helmand province has told Ariana News that at least 40 drug labs were destroyed during the last two months; however, he said narcotic drugs are still the main source of financing violence and terror.

“We have destroyed dozens of drug labs and we have killed drug traffickers and more than a hundred Taliban militants who were involved in this business. In addition, we have seized and destroyed more than three tons of narcotics,” Mr. Hayat said.

Afghan defense ministry says targeting the revenue streams of terrorists is very effective in order to disable the insurgents.

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$7 Billion Will be Spent on Afghan Air Force

In a major sign of long-term support for Afghanistan, the United States and NATO alliance are moving to support the Afghan Air Force by investing billions of dollars in the nation’s Air Force.

Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, commander of Train, Advise, Assist Command said in an interview with TOLOnews on Sunday that $7 billion will be spent on the Afghan Air Force over the next four years.

“We expect the Afghan Air Force to be fully professional, sustainable and capable and independent and that’s our whole goal here,” he said.

Under the new aid package, the number of aircraft owned by the AAF will be doubled in the next four years.

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