Withdrawal of the Norwegian troops from Faryab province is part of NATO’s strategy towards the end of the ISAF operation in 2014. ISAF leadership informed the Norwegian Minister of Defence Espen Barth Eide about the schedule during his visit to Kabul on Sunday 22 april.
– The process of transferring security responsibility in Faryab is already underway as the Afghans themselves have started to lead the military operations in the province for a long time. The Afghan security forces is considered to be in a position to take over responsibility this fall, says Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide.
In ISAF’s campaign strategy for northern Afghanistan, effort will be concentrated inn the major centers and major transport routes. The termination of the Norwegian-led PRT’en is part of this strategy.
Norway strengthens efforts in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif
Norway recently increased its military contribution in Afghanistan by sending special forces to Kabul for mentoring and training of the Afghan police’s central emergency power, CRU. Furthermore, Norway will make a C-130J military transport aircraft available to ISAF from September 2012. Norway is considering further contributions, both in Kabul and in the Masara-e-Sharif when the assignment is phased in Faryab. Norway will continue to have a substantial military contribution in Afghanistan until the end of 2014.
-We went in afghanistan with our allies and will not withdraw leaving our allies. That PRT mission ends now in line with ISAF’s desire, says Eide
Norway in Afghanistan
Norway’s total military engagement in Afghanistan is significant. It is contributing almost 700 soldiers to the NATO-led ISAF force, including in the form of a Quick Reaction Force stationed in Mazar-e-Sharif, the Norwegian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Meymaneh and a unit of Special Forces in the Kabul area. Last month, the government had revised the plan of Norway’s presence in Afghanistan. Accordingly, Norwegian military efforts would continue at about the same level, while the training and logistic activities would be intensified.
Last year in June, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre had announced they would gradually reduce the number of Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan.