“India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the biggest supporter of development assistance in war-ravaged Afghanistan,” said the Pentagon in its report to the Congress titled ‘Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan’, according to Tolo News
The support includes civil development projects such as the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam and the Afghan parliament building.
India provides vital training opportunities for Afghan military officers and and has often volunteered to train more defense personnel to bring peace to Afghanistan. At-least 130 Afghans military officers travel to India each year to attend various military and commissioning programs. Besides training military officers, India has also provided limited security assistance to Afghanistan, most notably four Mi-35 choppers, the Pentagon said.
“The new South Asia policy emphasized our relationship with India and called on India to offer more support to the global efforts in Afghanistan. The US welcomes Indian economic, medical, and civic support to Afghanistan,” said the Pentagon report. This is the first report of the Pentagon to Congress after US President Donald Trump announced his new Afghan and South Asia policy.
“Our mission in Afghanistan remains the same: to stop Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven from where the terrorist can freely plan and execute attacks on the US or our allies or residents abroad. To achieve this, we continue to support our Afghan partners and train, advise, support and encourage its military and the civilian government,” the report said.
Under the new strategy, the US will resume assisting the Afghan government and defense forces in the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorists organizations, while strengthening the Afghan government to control re-establishment of terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan. The new strategy does not mean a return to US-led combat forces rather, the solution to success lies in enhancing the Afghan defense capabilities and empower and them to lead in the fight against the Taliban.