Washington: United States President Joe Biden, in a memorandum declared termination of Afghanistan from the designation of a major non-NATO ally, more than a year after the Taliban captured power in Kabul. The designation, Major Non NATO Ally (MNNA) was assigned to Afghanistan in 2012, which allowed the two countries to maintain a defence and economic relationship.
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961,…I hereby terminate the designation of Afghanistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States for the purposes of the Act and the Arms Export Control Act,” President Biden said in a presidential memorandum to the Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The change in Afghanistan’s status follows Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country last year, ending nearly 20 years of war. Soon after, Afghanistan came under the control of the Taliban, which have repeatedly made assurances to the international community that they will protect the rights of women and girls, while simultaneously stripping away many of their freedoms and protections.
The MNNA status was first created in 1987. With Afghanistan’s status terminated, the U.S. 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, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia. Taiwan is treated as an MNNA, without formal designation as such, according to the State Department.
Early this month, Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna tabled a resolution in the House of Representatives to designate India as a major non-NATO ally, as per a report by The Hindu.
A major non-NATO ally is eligible for loans of material, supplies, or equipment for cooperative research, development, testing, or evaluation purposes. They are also eligible as a location for U.S.-owned War Reserve Stockpiles to be placed on its territory outside of U.S. military facilities, said a report by The Hindu.
These countries enter into agreements with the United States for the cooperative furnishing of training on a bilateral or multilateral basis, if the financial arrangements are reciprocal and provide for reimbursement of all U.S. direct costs, as per information provided by The Hindu.