An official website of the United States government

January 1, 2015

NATO in Afghanistan: Security and Development

NATO’s New Chapter in Afghanistan: Resolute Support

While the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was completed at the end of 2014, NATO’s training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions will continue through a follow-on NATO-led mission called Resolute Support. This non-combat mission is directed primarily to support of Afghan ministries and institutions, as well as the higher command level of the Afghan security forces.

The detailed operation plan for Resolute Support was approved by NATO Foreign Ministers at the end of June 2014. The invitation and the legal framework for the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) is provided by a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which were signed in Kabul on 30 September 2014, and ratified by the Afghan Parliament on 27 November 2014. The SOFA defines the terms and conditions under which NATO forces will be deployed in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support, as well as the activities that they are set to carry out under this agreement. The BSA outlines two critical Post-2014 missions for the United States: training, advising, and assisting the ANSF as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and targeting the remnants of Al Qaeda.

Approximately 12,000 personnel from both NATO and partner nations will be deployed in support of the mission. The RSM mission plan calls for operations with one central hub in Kabul/Bagram and four spokes in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Jalalabad. In addition to assuring transparency, accountability and oversight, key functions will support for:

  • Afghan security planning, programming and budgeting;
  • Adherence to the principles of rule of law and good governance;
  • Establishment and sustainment of such processes as force generation, recruiting, training, managing and development of personnel.

Beyond the training, advice and assistance mission, Allies and partners countries are committed to the broader international community’s support for the long-term financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces, including the pledges made at the NATO Summit in Chicago.