In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President wrote
: “In accordance with Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 USC 2321k), I give notice of my intention to revoke the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally.”
In 2012, the United States named Afghanistan an important non-NATO ally, paving the way for the two countries to maintain defense and economic relations. This was announced by the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Kabul.
Unlike US NATO allies, which are bound together by a joint defense pact, as a non-NATO ally there are no guarantees of mutual defense. These allies are eligible for material and supply credits and serve as a storage facility for US-owned military reserves. In addition, private companies from a designated country may bid on contracts for the maintenance, repair, or overhaul of US military equipment abroad.
Allied status has given Afghanistan the right to receive military training and assistance, including accelerated sales and leasing of military equipment even after NATO troops have left the country.
After the de-status of Afghanistan, the US will have 18 major non-NATO allies. according to the State Department
. They are: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.
Earlier this year, the US declared Colombia and Qatar to be non-NATO allies.
The change in Afghanistan’s status follows Biden’s withdrawal of US troops from the country last year, ending nearly 20 years of war.
Afghanistan quickly fell into the hands of the Taliban, who repeatedly assured the international community that they would protect the rights of women and girls while depriving them of many of their freedoms and protections.
This story has been updated with additional details.