Huge Norwegian Afghan defence bill mounts / News / The Foreigner

Huge Norwegian Afghan defence bill mounts. Norway’s operations in Afghanistan has cost the taxpayer far more than originally publicised. Over 11 billion kroner has been spent on troops and civilian aid, according to figures from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. “I think we’ve got little in return for the money. International involvement has failed.,” Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), tells NTB. Norwegian Minister of Defence Grete Faremo has indicated what she terms as “adjustments” to the country’s troop deployments in Afghanistan on several occasions, including increased training of Afghan security forces in the Faryab Province.

afghanistan, ghowrmach, faryab, grete, faremon, kristian, berg, harpviken, prio, helge, luraas, nupi, ahmad, zia, massoud



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Huge Norwegian Afghan defence bill mounts

Published on Monday, 27th December, 2010 at 15:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norway’s operations in Afghanistan has cost the taxpayer far more than originally publicised. Over 11 billion kroner has been spent on troops and civilian aid, according to figures from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs.

Operation Faryab, Setermoen (illus. ph.)
Operation Faryab, Setermoen (illus. ph.)
Photo: Forsvarets mediesenter/Stian Lysberg


No-win

“I think we’ve got little in return for the money. International involvement has failed.,” Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), tells NTB.

Norwegian Minister of Defence Grete Faremo has indicated what she terms as “adjustments” to the country’s troop deployments in Afghanistan on several occasions, including increased training of Afghan security forces in the Faryab Province.

She has so far declined to use the word “withdrawal”, but political advisor at the Ministry of Defence, Katherine Raadim, intimates the 500-or-so Norwegian troops are to be reduced.

“There is no doubt a pull-out is already underway. Norwegian troops will be pulling out completely from the Ghowrmach District, and they are about to reduce operations in the other high-conflict areas,” says Mr Harpviken.

According to Helge Lurås, advisor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the military operation in Afghanistan is unwinnable.

“The policy-makers are in a state of denial as to how grave the situation is. For the US, it’s about prestige. America should have left years ago,” he told The Foreigner earlier this year.

Deficit

It has also been alleged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) has little idea about how much of their foreign aid budget disappears due to corruption.

Secret documents published by WikiLeaks reveal former Vice President Ahmad Zia Massoud of Afghanistan was stopped during his trip to the United Arab Emirates last year with 321 million kroner in cash in his suitcase.

“Corruption is a well-known fact in Afghanistan and the Norwegian support is premised on a wide range of political consideration connected to national interests. The money carried by Mr. Massoud probably cannot be directly connected to Norwegian funds. The high level of Norwegian spending is likely to continue due to the perceived obligation to the U.S. and the ingrained Norwegian rhetoric about the benefits of aid and how that is balance to the more controversial military engagement,” says Helge Lurås.




Published on Monday, 27th December, 2010 at 15:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: afghanistan, ghowrmach, faryab, grete, faremon, kristian, berg, harpviken, prio, helge, luraas, nupi, ahmad, zia, massoud.





  
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