While Prime Minister Erna Solberg acknowledged that the decades-long operation in Afghanistan had failed to show results, both Norway’s participation and its pullout have been slammed by the opposition.
Commenting on Norway’s plan to end its years-long operation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Erna Solberg has acknowledged that almost 20 years of military action failed to result in a peaceful solution, national broadcaster NRK reported.
Earlier this year, US President Joe Biden declared that all American forces will leave Afghanistan by mid-September, and fellow NATO countries are following suit. The Norwegian force of 95 is scheduled to be among the last to leave Afghanistan by the 11 September deadline. The pullout officially started on 1 May.
A total of 9,200 Norwegians have served in Afghanistan. Ten soldiers were killed in the line of duty, and two Norwegian civilians lost their lives in connection with the war. Solberg pointed out that enormous sums have been spent on humanitarian aid, without the campaign’s stated goals being met. Since 2001, Norway has spent at least NOK 12 billion (nearly $1.5 billion).
Solberg cautioned of the risks associated with massive international withdrawal.
“At the same time, I must be honest that there is a significant risk of withdrawing before there is a peace agreement between the Afghan parties”, PM Solberg said.
She stressed that her government aims to maintain development assistance in the coming years,…