SEARCH

News » International

Updated: May 16, 2012 11:03 IST

Australia pledges $300 mn to Afghan forces

AP
Comment (1)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. File photo
AP
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. File photo

Australia will contribute $100 million annually for three years beginning in 2015 toward the $4 billion a year cost of running the Afghan National Security Forces after they take responsibility for their country’s security.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith said in a statement Wednesday they will take this commitment to the NATO and U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force summit in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.

This follows Australia’s commitment to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund of $200 million over five years beginning in 2009-10.

Afghanistan will have responsibility for its own security by the end of 2014.

Ms. Gillard said she spoke by telephone to President Barack Obama late Tuesday about the size of the Australian financial contribution to the costs of the Afghan forces.

“That’s going to cost some money to sustain those forces, just over $4 billion,” Ms. Gillard told reporters. “Australia is prepared to play its part in meeting those costs for Afghan forces.”

“As a nation, we have invested a lot in Afghanistan. We have been there to make sure that it is never again a safe haven for terrorists,” she added.

The White House said Mr. Obama had “expressed appreciation for Australia’s significant contributions” in Afghanistan during his phone conversation with Gillard.

Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan and is the largest military contributor to the campaign outside NATO.

Australia also contributes the third largest number of Special Forces elite troops. Wednesday’s statement said Australia will consider an ongoing Special Forces presence in Afghanistan, if requested, after the Afghans take control.

The Australian statement said the government will maintain a substantial development assistance program in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to help provide services such as education and health.

More In: International | News

What a waste of taxpayers money, half of that money will be taken by corrupt officials over there the money would be better spent here on a new hospital.

from:  Neil Jones
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 11:36 IST
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

National

Business

Cricket

Sport


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in International

German and British soldiers during World War I stand together on the battlefield near Ploegsteert, Belgium, in December 1914. Photo:AP

When soldiers sought a shred of humanity amid WWI

With British and German forces separated only by a no-man’s land littered with fallen comrades, sounds of a German Chris... »