President Joe Biden recently informed Congress of his intention to remove Afghanistan's designation as a major non-NATO ally to the United States, according to a White House press release Wednesday.
"In accordance with section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2321k), I am providing notice of my intent to rescind the designation of Afghanistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally," read the letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate.
The decision comes roughly one year after the U.S.-backed Islamic Republic fell to Taliban forces in Kabul, leading to a widely recognized American troop withdrawal carried out by Biden's Defense and State Departments.
Its status as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) allowed Afghanistan to receive military assistance and training. Even since the U.S. withdrawal, the designation allowed for continued humanitarian aid.
Among the benefits listed by the State Department for being MNNA were eligibility "for loans of material, supplies or equipment for cooperative research, development, testing or evaluation purposes," to purchase depleted uranium and to bid on contracts for maintenance, repair or overhaul of U.S. Department of Defense equipment.
With it rescinded, the U.S. will now have 18 MNNAs: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia.
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