Afghanistan's Progress Heading into the NATO Summit

In Afghanistan, the Administration has implemented three mutually reinforcing surges -- military, civilian and diplomatic -- to fulfill the national security imperative of ensuring that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for al-Qaida.

We are committed to learning the lessons of history and avoiding the kind of precipitous pullout that can fuel instability. We are now in the execution phase of our strategy. We expect some continuing challenges along the way, but we are achieving the goals we set in each of these three surges -- fighting, talking and building all at once.

Just two weeks ago, a Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed that provides a comprehensive framework for continued cooperation between the United States and a sovereign Afghanistan. President Karzai just announced this past weekend the third tranche of transition, after which nearly 75 percent of Afghans will be living in areas where Afghan forces are leading.

The Afghan army and police have now repeatedly demonstrated their enhanced capacity to defend the Afghan people with minimal assistance from coalition forces, and by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for security throughout the country. In Chicago this weekend at the NATO Summit, our allies and partners will join us in advancing a sustainable, effective Afghan National Security Force beyond transition.

Key to achieving our security objectives is improved Afghan civilian capacity and economic opportunity, which requires not only sustained support from the international community, but also, critically, Afghan action -- to improve governance, fight corruption, promote private-sector investment, and protect human rights.

In July, the international community and the Afghan government will meet in Tokyo to advance this mutual accountability, building on commitments already made in a series of international conferences, including in Istanbul and Bonn over the past year. While we will continue to face real challenges, we have seen some remarkable results. We have made significant progress in bolstering women's rights and education, expanding health services to the Afghan people, advancing nascent democracy, and improving Afghan capacity.

So, as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said on May 17, the Chicago NATO Summit is a critical milestone in the next step toward a responsible ending of this war, achieving our goals in Afghanistan, and executing of the strategy that the President laid out in Afghanistan when he signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

You can see a video of U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo H. Daalder discussing Afghanistan and the NATO Summit in Chicago on YouTube here.



Ashim C.
May 25, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

Certainly as a player on ground, US and her NATO partners know better, but to a laymen it seems the objective US led NATO forces is to wriggle out of Afpak region as fast as possible without creating such conditions as affected the region in the aftermath of erswhile Soviet Russian retreat earlier. Three factors which presumably have influenced this decision are a) US Presidential Elections in which US government wants to project success for itself somehow or the other, b) Overwhelming public opinion in US and other NATO countries against military engagements and c) dear war cost and it's effect on their economies in times recession.

Now, inspite of NATO presence, if extremist are able to assert themselves at will in Kabul intermittantly and outside Kabul at will, it would be naive to think that strategic agreement with President Karzai will help their efforts and objectives. President Karzai cannot be expected to get broad support of his people when collateral damage of NATO operations is part of their regular if not daily experience. It is easy to imagine how much effectively the extremists can exploit the popular sentiments of people because of collateral damages, which are admittedly unavoidable given the ground realities. In this situation it is better to follow a strategy of winning over the tribal rebels. Like US has threatened withdrawal of aid and assistance now and then when Pakistan is found wanting in providing logistical support to NATO forces, they should consider and channelise some of their aids and financial assistance to the tribal leaders of Afghanistan and NW province of Pakistan and make them stakeholders in independent development of supposedly richly endowed regions. They are like politicians who have adopted alternative methods of seeking power and they like any politician cannot but be interested in realisation of their objectives rather than their methods. These leaders shall stand to gain collectively and individually as stakeholders at the cost of merely shedding their wretched life of fugitives under constant threat to their lives. The proposition is based upon assumption that it is innate nature man to be attracted to pleasure and avoid pain.

Pennsylvania, USA
October 21, 2012

Eris in Pennsylvania writes:

As an Albanian, I am proud to see my flag waving at the NATO quarters

Albania has come so far, and is continuing that way

Flags Wave in Front of NATO Headquarters
Posted by Daniel Feldman
May 19, 2012


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