US expects to subsidize Afghan training for years

Desmond Butler

WASHINGTON — The United States expects to spend about $6 billion a year training and supporting Afghan troops and police after it begins pulling out its own combat troops in 2011, The Associated Press has learned.

The previously undisclosed estimates of U.S. spending through 2015, detailed in a NATO training mission document, are an acknowledgment that Afghanistan will remain largely dependent on the United States for its security.
That reality could become problematic for the Obama administration as it continues to seek money for Afghanistan from Congress at a time of increasingly tight budgets.
In Brussels, a NATO official said Monday that alliance commander Gen. David Petraeus asked for 2,000 more soldiers, with nearly half to be trainers for the rapidly expanding Afghan security forces.
The NATO official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject.
The training mission document, reviewed by the AP, outlines large scale infrastructure projects including a military hospital and military and police academies aimed at “establishing enduring institutions” and “creating irreversible momentum.”
Spending for training is projected to taper off from $11.6 billion next year to an average of $6.2 billion over the following four years. Much of the reduction reflects reduced spending on infrastructure.
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