On May 2, 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As part of this agreement, the United States pledged to designate Afghanistan a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA). Following the entry into force of the Strategic Partnership Agreement on July 4, President Obama signed the MNNA designation for Afghanistan on July 6. Afghanistan is the first country to be designated an MNNA since 2004.
MNNA designation provides a long-term framework for our security and defense cooperation. It reinforces the strong bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Afghanistan by helping support aligned defense planning, procurement, and training. Only a limited number of countries have this special status. MNNA qualifies a country for certain privileges supporting defense and security cooperation but does not entail any security commitment to that country.
Some of the privileges of MNNA status include eligibility for training, loans of equipment for cooperative research and development, and ultimately Foreign Military Financing for commercial leasing of certain defense articles. While the United States and the international community already provide significant security assistance to Afghanistan, in the long-term as Afghanistan takes on greater financial responsibility for its own security, MNNA status will be a critical catalyst for maintaining effective Afghan National Security Forces and building a robust peace-time security relationship between Afghanistan and the United States.
MNNA status is a symbol of the strong relationship between Afghanistan and the United States based on mutual respect and shared interests. It is a significant example of the United States’ long-term commitment to Afghanistan and our close cooperation.