NATO's Engagement with Central Asia and Afghanistan: Post-Summit, Post-ISAF
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NATO's Engagement with Central Asia and Afghanistan: Post-Summit, Post-ISAF

November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014

Alexander Vinnikov, NATO Liaison Officer/Head of Office, Central Asia

Abstract: The lecture will present an overview of NATO's cooperation with partners in Central Asia, in the context of both the recent NATO Summit in Wales and the upcoming end of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Three main arguments are elaborated. First, NATO's relationship with the partner countries of Central Asia dates back to the early 1990s, long before the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was deployed to Afghanistan. Since then the Central Asian states have engaged in cooperation with the Alliance through individual programs within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) framework, focusing mainly on defense sector reform and interoperability. The second argument states that although Afghanistan continues to face tremendous challenges, it has made significant progress since the Taliban era, in terms of both development indicators (healthcare, education, infrastructure, economic growth) and the security situation. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have already taken the lead in providing for their country's stability and security and are growing more capable every day. In the context of the first democratic handover of power in recent Afghan history and the impending withdrawal of ISAF, the third argument underlines that NATO will not abandon Afghanistan after 2014, and presents the three-pronged support package agreed at the Wales Summit: the Resolute Support mission; ANSF financial sustainment; and the Enduring Partnership, complemented by cooperation with Central Asian states in the interests of regional security.

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