Brussels (dpa) – For the first time in around 16 years, NATO is using units from its NRF Crisis Response Force.
According to research by the German News Agency, around 300 soldiers are currently deployed to help with the care and temporary accommodation of Afghans who were brought from their home countries to Europe after coming to power. of the Taliban. In addition, hundreds of NATO personnel are supporting the operation from commandos and headquarters.
NRF units were last deployed in 2005 to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States and the earthquake in Pakistan. Other proposals for their use failed due to a lack of unanimity among alliance states. In 2009, for example, the United States proposed using force to bolster NATO military operations in Afghanistan, but Germany and other NATO states rejected this proposal. The NRF, which was created in the years following 2002, therefore never completed combat missions.
The total strength of the troops was last given to 40,000 soldiers. They are provided annually by various NATO countries.
About 1,400 Afghans are supported
According to the alliance, the new mission is mainly to supply the evacuees Afghans who have worked with NATO and still do not have a long-term place to stay. This represents around 1,400 people, including family members. According to dpa information, emergency shelters have been set up for them in Kosovo and Poland.
“The NRF has strong leadership skills that are ideal for a mission of this size and complexity,” said a spokesperson for the responsible command of the armed forces in Naples, Italy, from the dpa. Troops can not only ensure a rapid military response in crisis situations, but also conduct peacekeeping operations, protect critical infrastructure and provide disaster relief.
20 alliance states are involved
According to the spokesperson, the operation for Afghan aid workers was approved on August 24 by the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s most important political decision-making body. It was said that the first troops were there just 24 hours later.
More than 20 alliance states are involved, providing, for example, transport planes, medical teams or security personnel. According to a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry in Berlin, the Bundeswehr is currently not there. The NRF’s central element in the operation are logistics experts from the Joint Logistic Support Group Naples (JLSG), according to NATO.
The Taliban takeover and the evacuation operations that followed were preceded by NATO’s decision to unconditionally end its mission of training, advising and supporting the Afghan security forces.