World

May 23, 2012

France sets conditions for Afghan aid post-NATO

by Jamey Keaten
Associated Press

French President Francois Hollande said May 21 that France won’t necessarily contribute money for Afghanistan’s military, again marking a break with key NATO partners as the alliance moves to hand over security control in the country starting in 2015.

In a final news conference at a summit of the Atlantic alliance, the new French leader confirmed that the United States had asked France for “a little less” than $200 million for Afghanistan.

Hollande – who took office last week – has been cautious about state spending amid France’s high state debts. He also set conditions for any French aid for the Afghan military, saying Paris would need assurances that such use of such money would be closely monitored.

The announcement was the latest sign of Hollande’s reluctance about doing more for Afghanistan during his term. He rankled some allies in NATO over his plan to bring home French combat troops by year-end – two years ahead of the alliance’s timetable.

Germany has committed to providing $190 million per year, and Britain has pledged $110 million.

“As for after 2014, we have been asked – like all the partners – for a contribution. We haven’t responded, simply saying that on principle we’re going to look at it,” Hollande said. “We haven’t set an amount. We are not bound by what Germany or other countries might do. And we have one condition, which is to know how these eventual contributions would be monitored.”

Hollande has said that French military logistics teams and trainers for Afghan police and top military brass would remain in Afghanistan into next year, part of a previously agreed bilateral agreement with Afghanistan – but had not previously indicated a pullout date for them.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>