Progress report on Afghanistan - June 2012 interim report
An ISAF service member in Afghanistan
On 22 June the German Government submitted an interim report on the progress made in Afghanistan to the German Bundestag. It was drawn up by the Special Representative of the Federal Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Michael Koch, in cooperation with the various ministries dealing with Afghanistan-related questions.
The interim report includes the following conclusions:
The positive developments observed in 2011 have continued in the first half of 2012, with the structures of the al-Qaida terrorist network being broken up further in Afghanistan. An important goal of the international community has thus been reached. It is now a matter of securing this success and preventing the country from becoming a terrorist haven ever again.
The security situation remains difficult in parts of the country, but a further slight improvement has been made overall. In most of the country’s regions, Afghan security forces have taken over responsibility and have generally proved capable of meeting this challenge.
The international community has started to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan. At the NATO Summit in Chicago on 20-21 May, the heads of state and government of the NATO and ISAF states reconfirmed their plans to conclude ISAF operations by 31 December 2014.
The International Afghanistan Conference held in Bonn on 5 December 2011 created a viable basis for Afghanistan’s further stabilization and development. The Bonn conference conclusions encompass measures reaching far beyond the 2014 timeframe and send a clear message that the international community will not abandon Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of combat troops.
The international consensus on Afghanistan reached in Bonn will be further consolidated in the course of 2012. At the NATO Summit in Chicago on 20-21 May, international leaders reconfirmed their goal of completing the ISAF mission by the end of 2014, decided to establish a new training mission from 2015 and agreed to provide medium-term financing for the Afghan security forces. At a Ministerial Meeting in Kabul on 14 June 2012, the foreign ministers of the region added substance to the mechanism for regional confidence-building, which had been agreed in Istanbul in November 2011. Furthermore, a conference is to be held in Tokyo on 8 July 2012 to encourage the international community to underpin their long-term civilian support with the necessary financial pledges.
It is the aim of the German Government to continue civilian funding for the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan beyond 2013 and to consolidate this support at the current level. In return, the Afghan Government will have to meet its obligations by making tangible progress and further pledges on the road towards reform.