Questioned on Friday what will Romania do following USA’s decision on Afghanistan troop drawdown and if Romania will Ok extra troops here, Romanian Defense minister Mircea Dusa said that ministry had already informed within the Supreme Council for National Defence that Romania will maintain 200 military in Afghanistan to provide the Afghan army with the necessary training.
While at the 71st Air Base of Campia Turzii, where the DACIAN VIPER 2015 Romanian-American exercise is under way on Friday, Dusa said that the decision heralded by U.S. President Barack Obama to maintain American troops in Afghanistan is a good one.
“The security of Afghanistan has deteriorated due to the Talibans’ reactivation, and of the IS [Islamic State] as well. I believe that the decision announced by President Obama is good given that the 14 brigades the Afghans have forged do not have yet the operational capacity to ensure the security of Afghanistan and the measure taken by president Obama, to maintain the troops’ amount in 2016 at the current level, is a good decision. We have already announced in our Supreme Council of Country’s Defence (CSAT) that we’ll maintain in Afghanistan 200 instructors capable to ensure the training of the Afghan Army, and — upon President Obama’s appeal — after the talks we’ll have with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, with Mr. [Ashton] Carter we’ll see what the requirements are for planning next year’s forces (…) Romania is the third contributor state. The U.S. have the highest number of military, followed by Germany, then by Romania. We currently have 650 troops there, of whom 200 are training officers for the Afghan Army, and approximately 420 attend security and safety missions,” he said.
He added that a possible decision of supplementing the number of troops in Afghanistan belongs to the CSAT.
“We’ll talk about this. (…) A decision of supplementing the troops — I have announced the 200 military that were already approved — can be made only in a CSAT meeting and the Parliament must be informed,” the defence minister specified.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan is supported by 12,500 troops, of whom almost 10,000 are Americans.
Romanian military cemetery in Russia
Asked about the Romanian-Russian relations at this moment, the Romanian Defense Minister said there are no relations now from the military point of view. However, he unveiled that Romania settled an agreement with the Russian side on a Romanian military cemetery based in Rososka, Volgograd in Russia.
Dusa informed that such a cemetery of the Romanian soldiers dead in Russia during the WWII would be inaugurated in the Russian locality on October 25, on Romanian Army’s Day. “We invested RON 680,000 in setting up the cemetery,” the minister said. Dusa said that a delegation of the Romanian Foreign and Defense ministries will attend the inauguration ceremony.