The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission was launched on January 1, 2015 following the completion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. Resolute Support is a non-combat mission that provides training, advice and assistance to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF). At the NATO Summit in Warsaw in 2016, Heads of State and Government decided to sustain the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016.
Some 16,000 personnel from NATO member states and partner countries are deployed in support of the Resolute Support Mission (RSM). The mission operates with one central hub (in Kabul/Bagram) and four spokes in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Laghman.
At the NATO Summit in Warsaw on July 8-9, 2016, Heads of State and Government decided to sustain the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016, using a flexible, regional model which would continue to deliver training, advice and assistance to the Afghan security institutions, including the police, the air force, and special operations forces. They also committed to keeping the mission and its design under review.
Ahead of the meeting of NATO Leaders in Brussels on May 25, 2017, Allies and Resolute Support operational partners reaffirmed the decisions taken in Warsaw. They noted that the ANDSF are improving, whilst still requiring support; and they agreed to continue sustaining the Resolute Support Mission and to keep it under review.
At the meeting of Defence Ministers on November 9, 2017, ministers from the 39 troop contributing nations to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission addressed four key issues: the troop level of the mission, funding for the Afghan forces, progress on reforms and reconciliation, and continued engagement with Pakistan. Allies welcomed the United States briefing on the implications of the new South Asia Strategy on the mission. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the size of Resolute Support Mission would increase from around 13,000 to around 16,000 troops in 2018.
On July 12, 2018 the Heads of State and Government of Allied and partners’ troop contributing nations to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission met within the framework of the NATO Summit held in Brussels, July 11-12, and reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan’s lasting security. A joint statement was issued at the end of the meeting, reaffirming the shared commitment to Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability and welcoming the progress made by the Afghan security forces and institutions. In the statement, NATO Allies and operational partners announced their commitment to: sustain the non-combat Resolute Support mission until conditions indicate a change in the mission is appropriate; extend financial sustainment of the Afghan forces through 2024; and make further progress on developing a political and practical partnership with Afghanistan, including through the Enduring Partnership. For its part, Afghanistan committed to continue its efforts towards reform, including by further strengthening its security forces and institutions, combatting corruption and organizing and holding credible, free, fair, and inclusive parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 and 2019, respectively.