KABUL - The US government will provide advanced military equipment to the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the next four months - a move to enhance the capabilities of Afghan forces to fight the Taliban.
The equipment are the first of its kind being supplied to the Afghan forces, said Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the head of transition committee overseeing transfer of responsibilities from NATO troops to Afghan forces.
"The equipment scheduled to arrive in four months are unique to the Afghan forces," Mr Ahmadzai told Tolo news in an exclusive interview. "We had received equipment two years ago, but they were second hand," Ahmadzai said.
The 500 kinds of military equipment reportedly do not include fighter jets as Ahmadzai said there were disagreements on the need for such advanced military aircraft. President Hamid Karzai has demanded the US government to provide Afghan forces with F16 fighter jets, warning he would knock other doors for support if otherwise.
The US government has reportedly argued that the counter-insurgency mission doesn't require fighters like F16. Lack of equipment has been the main concern for Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban-led insurgency.
The Afghan forces have taken over responsibilities of seven parts of the country in the first phase of transition, a process Mr Ahmadzai said the Afghan government cannot afford to let fail.
"The nation would be blamed if the [transition] process fails, neither me nor the government," Ahmadzai said.
The Afghan forces will take charge of security across Afghanistan by the end of 2014.