Consulting firm McAleese & Associates has released a report on key takeaways from the meetings of President Joe Biden and Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
Biden said Friday the bilateral partnership between the two countries will continue despite the troop withdrawal.
“The partnership between Afghanistan and the United States is not ending … Our Troops may be leaving, but support for Afghanistan is not ending, in terms of support … helping them maintain their military, as well economic and political support,” said Biden. “The Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want…This senseless violence has to stop, and it is going to be very difficult. But we’re going to stick with you. And we are going to do our best, to see to it, that you have the tools that you need.”
Austin stressed the U.S. commitment to U.S.-Afghan defense relationship and that DOD is invested in the South Asian country’s security and stability. He also reaffirmed the country’s support in advancing the competency of the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces.
McAleese noted that the Pentagon is requesting $3.3 billion in fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds to help the Afghan National Security Forces sustain and train its 330,000 army and police personnel.
U.S. has pledged 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and is requesting $250 million in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, according to the report.