Joe Biden: US President Joe Biden ends designation of Afghanistan as key non-NATO ally

US President Joe Biden has ended the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally, more than a year after the Taliban seized power in Kabul.

In 2012, the United States designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA), which paved the way for the two countries to maintain a defense and economic relationship.

The designation gave several facilities and concessions to Afghanistan in terms of defense and security related assistance and equipment.

“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 put hereby terminate the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the United States for purposes of law and the Arms Export Controls Act,” Biden said in a memorandum. Presidential to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Afghanistan’s change in status follows Biden’s withdrawal of US troops from the country last year, ending nearly 20 years of war.

Afghanistan quickly fell back into the hands of the Taliban, who repeatedly assured the international community that they would protect the rights of women and girls, while denying them many freedoms and protections.

MNNA status was first created in 1987. With Afghanistan’s status revoked, the United States will have 18 major non-NATO allies, according to the State Department.

These are Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.

Taiwan is treated as an MNNA, with no formal designation as such, according to the State Department.

Earlier this month, Indo-American Congressman Ro Khanna tabled a resolution in the House of Representatives designating India as a major non-NATO ally.

A major non-NATO ally is eligible for loans of materiel, supplies or equipment for cooperative research, development, testing or evaluation. They are also eligible as a location for United States-owned war reserve stocks to be placed on its territory outside of United States military installations.

These countries enter into agreements with the United States for the cooperative provision of training on a bilateral or multilateral basis, if the financial arrangements are reciprocal and provide for the reimbursement of all direct US costs.

Kevin E. Boling