BRUSSELS - The head of NATO called on China and Russia on Thursday to help fund Afghan security after 2014, as the alliance tries to rally contributions from a wider range of sources before most foreign combat troops pull out of Afghanistan.
NATO estimates that the annual cost of maintaining Afghan security forces will be some $4 billion, and the United States is hoping for contributions worth 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from other NATO allies and partners. But so far only Britain has publicly pledged an actual amount of cash, $110 million a year.
"We would welcome financial contributions from Russia, China and other countries to ensure a strong sustainable Afghan security force beyond 2014," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels, where NATO foreign and defense ministers were meeting to prepare for a summit next month in Chicago.
The United States and NATO, keen to douse fears Afghanistan could face renewed civil war when foreign troops pull out, want to use the summit to demonstrate a long-term commitment to Afghan stability that will endure well after 2014.