Spain Budgets EUR 22M for Afghan Army Battalion

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ANA soldiers(click to view full) Operations in Afghanistan have created operational and political friction among NATO allies due to some members who will not commit their forces to combat situations, forces not delivered as promised, and shortages of critical assets like helicopters. It has also featured some innovations, such as ISAF’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams. PRTs combine military force with direct aid delivery, acting as a key aid supplement to civil groups, and reaching areas where wealthy non-governmental organizations will not operate due to risk aversion or political issues. Spain operates a PRT at Qal-i-Naw in Afghanistan’s northwestern Baghdis province, about 100 km NNE east of Herat and near the border with Turkmenistan. Baghdis falls under ISAF’s West Regional command, and is not a major conflict zone like the souteastern provinces along Pakistan’s border. Even so, it will require a long-term security presence in order to remain stable, and to slowly expand the central government’s authority. Recent Spanish expenditures are helping to prepare that next step, by raising, accommodating, and training an Afghan National Army force that can secure this area over the longer term. In September 2007, Spain earmarked EUR 4.5 million to equip and train a company of 100 […]

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