On Sunday, the U.S. and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) ended their international combat mission in Afghanistan after 13 years.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “As we complete the international combat mission at the end of 2014, we open a new chapter in the relationship between NATO and Afghanistan. The security of Afghanistan will be fully in the hands of the country’s 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police. But NATO Allies, together with many partner nations, will remain to train, advise and assist them. This transition is what NATO and Afghan leaders agreed together.”
On January 1st, the U.S. will remain to keep about 13,500 soldiers on location for support. NATO will continue to contribute to the financing of the Afghan security forces. The new mission, “Resolute Support,” will bring together around 12,000 men and women from NATO Allies and 14 partner nations. The mission is based on a request from the Afghan government and the Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan.