Join a Discussion With Ambassador Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 15, 2010
Conversations With America Discussion With Ambassador Holbrooke Replay

Update: Watch the broadcast here.

On Monday, April 19, 2010, Marc Grossman, Chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America, will hold a conversation with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the Obama Administration's work in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The discussion will be moderated by Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. The event will be streamed live on DipNote at 12:30 p.m. (EDT). You will have the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions now here on DipNote.

This event is the first in a new video series launched by the Bureau of Public Affairs in which the State Department's senior leadership will hold conversations live, online with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations from the international affairs field. Discussion topics will include foreign policy and global issues. These forums will provide a view of how leaders from the foreign affairs community engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues and how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most.

Comments

Comments

Shannon G.
|
Texas, USA
April 18, 2010

Shannon G. in Texas writes:

Civilians are getting killed including children and pregnant women (which is the main reason I am against war), what are you doing about it and is any aid getting to the people out in the rural areas that can actually be verified?

Qais A.
|
Afghanistan
April 18, 2010

Qais A. in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dears!

I really appreciate this discussion that is going to be held tomorrow, it’s a great way to make a stream to the international countries, I am thankful from dear and respect Holbrook for making this amazing facility for us to ask him questions live here are some questions I want to know about:

1: as we have heard in the News president Karzai has claimed US government for the corruptions and deceiving in the previous election, is the US government disappoint by his speech? If yes? What are they going to do? Will they decrease their help and assistant in Afghanistan or…?

Hope I will get answer of my question

Qais A. student of Abdul Wakil H.S GCEP

HAROON A.
|
Afghanistan
April 18, 2010

Haroon in Afghanistan writes:

Hello to every one

This is Haroon A. from Afghanistan I am a student of abdul wakil high school

Ezatullah ).
|
Afghanistan
April 18, 2010

Ezatullah in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Allah who know the secrets of our hearts

Hello all of you!

This is Ezatullah ((Samadi)) student of Abdul Wakil high school and also student of GCEP (Global Connection & Exchange Program).

First of all I thank from all of you that you gave us opportunities to ask some questions about current circumstance of the world. And my questions are bellow:

1): Hamid Karzai president of Afghanistan criticize on some American authorities what will be the reaction of America against Afghanistan? Will they continue their aid with Afghanistan or won’t?

2): Why does America help with many countries of world? Do they have any aim? If yes which are their aims?

Best wishes,

Ezatullah ((Samadi)) student of Abdul Wakil high school

abdulaziz
|
Afghanistan
April 18, 2010

Abdul in Afghanistan writes:

Hello and nice wishes to every body!

I hope all is totally well and healthy.

At first I feel myself very lucky and fortunate that I can present and ask some of My unanswered questions to/from two capable personalities Mr. Holbrooke and Marc Grossman also it is you that enabled

This golden opportunity to discuss with you so I don’t want to talk much it is will be better to ask you my questions.

(1) Q: As Mr.Holbrooke is an Ambassador and special representative in Afghanistan and Pakistan of America so how does he evaluate the situations In Afghanistan and Pakistan in the prudential government of Obama?

(2): Q: the second question I want to ask from Mr. Marc that as you are the chairman of world affairs councils of America so what do you think that what is the easy way for being both countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) in secure?

I hope and suggest from Mr. Philip that you will have to ask my both questions And if you did such then it will be nice of you.

Nice wishes

Abdul A. (shoja) yours buddy from Abdul wakil high school.

fawad
|
Afghanistan
April 18, 2010

Fawad in Afghanistan writes:

Hello to all how are you? I wish you are all fine and healthy

This is fawad alami from Abdul Wakil high school. I want to ask some questions from Mr.: Holbrook

1)Why the obama isn’t able to eliminate the insurgents from both countries Afghanistan and Pakistan?

2)How can obama implement his new strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

3)What are the basic purposes and aims of obama in both countries (Afghanistan& Pakistan?

4)What are the causes that obama beat in both Afghanistan and Pakistan?

These are my questions from mr: Holbrook

I wish they answers correctly

Nice wishes;

Fawad a. from jalalabad GCEP class

Neil H.
|
United Kingdom
April 18, 2010

Neil H. in the United Kingdom writes:

If radicals were to take over the Government of Pakistan what would the United States do about the country's nuclear weapons?

Max A.
|
United States
April 26, 2010

Max A. in USA writes:

You may want to forward to our Generals on the ground in Afghanistan, to pull Michael yon from where he is on assignment at, and start an early assignment with him, with the 1-17th Infantry where he is to be under US umbrella. Since the Khost incident with the triple agent Jordanian gone bad, Michael Y. been getting some negative press from the Canadians military and press. Since then the Canadians were implying the US CIA was involved with the suicide bombers in the region killing Canadians with IEDs in Oct. 2009. Michael has stated a General in the Canadian had a misfire of his weapon on a helicopter, that seems to have Michael rattled. l though the Canadians are our allies. They may need to understand why the CIA director was resigned days ago due to that failed mission status of the Khost operation.

M. B.
|
North Dakota, USA
April 18, 2010

Barbere in North Dakota writes:

Thank you for putting this event together. I am hoping the questions that are asked are able to be frank and unfiltered.

Pakistan is experiencing an increasing amount of instability as evidenced by the July takeover of the Red Mosque. The central government is not represented or respected in the "tribal-belt" and extremist influence is building against Islamabad. The will or ability of the Pakistani military to curb militant activities is in serious doubt.

Although the Pakistani government is not providing a safe-haven to terrorists, the fact remains that Pakistan is a safe-haven for the enemies of the United States.

Without infringing on the sovereignty of a nuclear state and further enflaming the passions of militants, how does the U.S. proceed in helping counterinsurgency operations inside Pakistan?

Thank you.

M Barbere

Ian H.
|
New York, USA
April 18, 2010

Ian H. in New York writes:

Amb. Please discuss opium production in Afghanistan, and its refinement and transport through Pakistan.

What is the strategy for refocusing the agricultural economy without alienating the famers whose support coalition forces need?

There was a recent argument between NATO and Russian diplomats regarding counter narcotics strategy, can this be resolved? What do you see as the role of Russia and Central Asian countries in addressing drug transport routes?

Can Kazakhstans OSCE Presidency be used to help this endeavor?

With an acute drug problem in Iran can shared efforts on this issue be used as a confidence building measure?

Anthony
|
Maryland, USA
April 18, 2010

Anthony in Maryland writes:

If we truly want to broker a true peace agreement in the middle east why won't or haven't we ended our unwavering support of Israel?

Ralli M.
|
Greece
April 18, 2010

Maria-Eleni in Greece writes:

Hello ,from Greece Athens,unfortunatly at the time of the programme i will be in the university ,because i am a student, so i will not be able to participate to the online event when is taking part.But i am writing my thoughts and i am waiting your answers.

So ,watching the news in 17/04/2010 according to France24International News Agency:"Twin explosions hit a refugee camp in Northwesr Pakistan killing at least 41 people and wounding more than 60".Northwest Pakistan has suffered a major internal displacement of people as a result of Taliban violence and a series of military offensives concentrated on flushing out the armed Islamists from parts of the northwest and tribal belt.The UN say 1,3 million people are currently displaced.At the same time to Afganistan soldiers of NATO are killed and journalists of wester countries are abducted and we pray for them not to killed.This facts tell us that this states are failed,insecurity and is a treat to all the countries first of the reaction of the terrorists and secondly people are becoming immigrants because they want a better life.My question is that i do not negotiate the right of the life,of the security that now U.S.A has to deal with it,but also as a super power has to find new ways to react to that situation.Explosions and commit suicides is a way of fanatic islamsic do only in middle-east and no to the countries that are acceptable and unify of the social western community.Also it's a need to make a trade market model- an economic development-suitable for them creat jobs for the civilians and make them feel safe. For a conclusion:How you will put an end to the those issues?

ps:According to my small message ,you will understand my thoughts and where are the solutions but i am waiting for your answers.

Thank you!!

Mary
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 18, 2010

Mary in Washington, DC writes:

Ambassador Holbrooke:

According to a survey commissioned by the U.S. Army, the population of Afghanistan's Kandahar province, the location of ISAF's next large operation, trusts the Taliban more than the government. One could argue that this is still the case in Helmand province as well, where Operation Moshtarak recently took place. With civilian death rates still high and distrust amongst the local population so high, what more can our military and civilian forces do in Afghanistan to be successful? Should we curtail our ambitions in Afghanistan? With stability so difficult to achieve, let alone reconstruction, what exactly do we expect to change in just over a years' time, when Obama wants to begin withdrawal from the country? Does it not seem like our expected outcomes are too ambitious? Are we causing more harm than good?

There are so many questions to ask, but I guess it all boils down to: are we being realistic in assuming that our presence is doing more good than harm?

Perhaps it is time to plan for a responsible withdrawal.

Thanks for the time and attention to our questions!

Andres R.
|
Colombia
April 18, 2010

Andres R. in Colombia writes:

What plans and policies have been considered for the long term consequences of international involvement in the conflict and issues regarding AF/Pak especially considering the rapid nature of the surge, the dynamics of war, the unprecedented nature and size of current involvement, are there experiences/models of tending towards sustainability and reparation of mistakes and unintended consequences and how high a priority is given to this type of concerns? Is there a need for a broader definition and practice of development and development aid that is more flexible so as to rebalance the complexities that conflicts bring? If so, how?

ANNMARIE N.
|
New York, USA
April 26, 2010

Ann Marie N. in New York writes:

Hon.Amb. please i have served in US ARMY and 35 years old studied both afghan and pakistan a lot. First we have to differentiate between two nations,both are different even being called islamic republics, afghan from hundreds of years are tribes and most people psychology is based on money, greed but brave tribal traditions. while Pakistani society is more based on emotions and culture. Corruption is common in both places. The real problem was from the time of President Zia ul haq who know how to control afghans but the sad part was we left the cancer of afghan war there grown into monster. First we need to realize as condeliza Rice took actions against President Mushharaf to remove him while he was in the middle of such a stressfull situations helping US,b ut we trusted Hamid Karzai, who is filled with greed and not trustworthy, we need to first stabilize pakistan president zardari and his Prime Minister are also not so great as came with corruptions also. Pakistan need a different type of democracy,govt should be from Army, second we need to help pakistan to take all the refugees out back to afganistan by having a strict system of identity card system checking at leat person should be living or his family before afghan russian war, as afghans brought klashinkof culture in pakistan, and now all pakistan universities are controlled by jamat ie islami students who become later taliban. these universities should be cleaned with these elements like punjab university in lahore is head quaters of jamiat, also islambad is filled with afghanis. The baluchistan province in pakistan should be treated differently as they also have tribes and balouch need more resources for jobs because that reigon is bordered with Iran,potential threat for USA and we need to clear that land if we need to use it, also provincial system in pakistan should abolish and they should be made one unit as that is causing big problems for US to handle different areas. India and Pakistan relations are very important at this point, also america should stop supporting shia sect of muslims as we are bulding them in that power that will harm us soner or later as they are extremist. we made government in iraq shia, iran is next door both will combine and also in afganistan they are getting stronger, we dont know Russia is still not our friend waiting for taking revenge from us from afghan russian war they will try to help iran, north koria and if we leave pakistan alone will combine iran and iraq and afghanistan also that will be a big demise for us. President Barak Obama is moving in right directions and also Mr Richard Holbrook and Mr Marc Grossman, your efforts are great but please make a strong move before its too late.God Bless America.

Gerald s.
|
Florida, USA
April 18, 2010

Gerald S. in Florida writes:

Peace in Afganistan is like a jigsaw puzzle with an infinite number of pieces. One particular piece that desperately needs fitting is the critical security needs of women and girls. A partial solution: let us fund and train an all female constabulary and judiciary answerable only to female overview.

Masood
|
California, USA
April 19, 2010

Masood in California writes:

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

U.S. officials repeatedly said that the military action alone will not be enough to stabilize Afghanistan. Based on officials statements and media analysis U.S. strategy is based on three main components.

1-Military action to clean up area from Taliban influence
2-Stable government with good governance (strong political system)
3-Building up Afghan Security Forces to take over security functions

President Obama would like to see U.S. Troops getting back home starting from July, 2011. However, Mr. Karzia performance on both counts that is stable government with good governance and strong Afghan Security Force is grim indicating his limitation to govern and reform all this time.

Moreover, Mr. Karzai recent frustration and tirade blaming western governments has created a question of Mr. Karzia reliability! It is evident more pressure and Mr. Karzai will breakdown! The question, is there a substitute if Mr. Karzi makes a U-turn that late in a process?

In a recent development, according to the media The Leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, indicated that he and his follower may be willing to hold peace talks with western Politicians, The message was relayed by “Quetta Shura” that Mullah Omar is no longer aiming to rule Afghanistan as long as following three objectives are met:

• Return of Sharia
• Exit of foreigners
• Restoration of Security

The question, based on overall situation and the statement issued by the Quetta Shura is there a possibility of a breakthrough in next few months?

I will appreciate your response.

Bibin N.
|
India
April 19, 2010

Bibin N. in India writes:

Hi everyone I'm a journalist from India

My questions for Mr.Holbrooke are:-

1.Why U S ,U.K and Pakistan in a single voice opposing the tribal council meeting called bt President Hamid Karzai?Is n't it born out of a fear of loosing U.S and Pak grip on Afghanistan once they start taking decisions by a popular consensus?

2.What will be the role of Pakistan's ISI in the reconciliation efforts with Good Taliban?

3. If India can play a role in reconstruction of Afghanistan,why US think on Pakistan lines that it has to stay away from the Government making process of Afghan? and Do you think that a solution in Afghanistan is possible without the co-operation and involvement of Asian giants like India and China?

4.Do US have an economic strategy in dealing with the so called Good Taliban? US and other world countries are shedding lots of money as Trust fund for appeasing insurgents there.Why don't these funds being diverted for the reconstruction of the destroyed country?

5.What is the core of American approach to Afghan.Is it a religion based one taking into consideration of Afghan as a Muslim country surrounded by other Islamic republics OR are you approaching it on a regional based approach taking into consideration the geo political situation of Asia?

Looking forward to your answers..Thank You..
Bibin

christoper
|
United States
April 19, 2010

Christopher in U.S.A. writes:

Opportunity to Learn

Just as I can point to lack on joy and motivation, I can point to adult learners that preferred to be guided. I can also point to situations where the instruction did not meet the initial needs articulated by the learners because the instruction itself changed the learner's and their stated needs………….

thespy
April 19, 2010

Thespy writes:

Afghanistan's us army how to go home

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 19, 2010

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

Thank you for taking the time to hold this conversation and answering our questions. I would like to submit the following:

What is the U.S. doing to fight the drug trade in Afghanistan?

What level of cooperation are we finding from the Afghan government in addressing drug trafficking?

To what degree do we believe the drug trade is funding the insurgency and supporting terrorists?

Scott t.
|
United States
April 19, 2010

Scott in U.S.A. writes:

Mr. Ambassador. Thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. One major goal of our development assistance is to help the Pakistani Government defeat insurgents by improving the lives of the Pashtun people living in the tribal agencies adjacent to Afghanistan. This assistance has been slow in coming, largely due to the poor security situation in the tribal agencies and Peshawar, where our support efforts are to be coordinated. The Pakistanis are deliberately blocking a diplomatic security program in Peshawar that would protect diplomats and staff even after our Consulate was attacked. How can we ever hope to work with a country that continues to confound our efforts to increase staffing so that we can ensure U.S. money is spent wisely in a country with a long history of corruption and innefective governance?

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
April 19, 2010

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Ambassador Holbrooke & Chairman Marc Grossman.

I was was just wondering what your thoughts were on the progress we're making there? And how you think we can provide better support for our troops and people working in the field in Afghanistan & Pakistan?.:)

Anyways, i look foward to hear how you thing things are progressing there.

Thanks for talking to us about Afghanistan & Pakistan . :)

See Ya ..Guys...:)

Charlie W.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 19, 2010

Charlie W. in Washington, DC writes:

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have doubled in the first 3 months of this year compared to the first 3 months of last year.

How much has the rise in civilian casualties over the past year hurt your efforts ?

Irshad U.
|
Pakistan
April 19, 2010

Irshad U. in Pakistan writes:

Ambassador Holbrooke is doing an excellent job. However in Pakistan the energy crisis is a serious threat to our security. What are Ambassador Holbrooke's views on this? Irshad U., Rhodes Scholar

Joan C.
|
Canada
April 19, 2010

Joan C. in Canada writes:

Mr. Holbrooke,

Thank you for this opportunity and I thank the USA for providing opportunities for international dialogue on important world matters. America is a country I admire.

I see there's a recent growing advert campaign by the UN and other ORGS, NGOs and G8 governments to switch focus from Afghanistan to a variety of nations on the African continent. While I agree these nations of Africa are just as needy, I feel we should clean up Afghanistan before entering another failed nation. Like my Mom and Dad taught me as a child, if you're going to do a job, do it right, or don't do it at all.

As a Canadian who has whole-heartedly supported ISAF and the combat mission in Afghanistan, that support evaporated in the past two weeks based on Karzai's erratic behaviour. It's time to end the combat mission and start helping the people of Afghanistan rebuild. The re-building should include health, education, agriculture and infrastructure building.

Also, a digression, for all those nations that consider and refer to Canada as an allie, the mean-spirited comments by British and American embed journalists speaking on behalf of their respective Armed Forces do not only tarnish Canada; they tarnish the reputation of the originating Armed Forces, too. Even worse, the comments signal to the enemy that they are winning and de-professionalizes the entire mission and by extension, the Western world.

It's time to turn stones and the detritus of war in Afghanistan into schools; turn poppy fields into pomegranates and wheat; I'm not willing to witness any more ISAF nations sacrifice troops for a failed combat mission in support of a corrupt Karzai government. I've no reason to disbelieve Galbraith's claims that Karzai is a drug addict, either.

On an unrelated matter, but equally important: one of the largest symbolic and obvious failures of Western efforts in Afghanistan is the inability to remove the burqa--a cultural artifact which is an artificial construct of Islamic extremist revisionism. No where in the Koran is a burqa mentioned yet it persists; it underscores the successful talibanisation of Afghanistan and de-legitimates any efforts to bring human rights to women in that country. Yet, the UN tacitly, impotently and hypocritically condones this through silence.

MY PARADOXICAL TWO QUESTIONS:

1)In 2012 when I complete my degree in teaching (at a significant cost to myself) and leave my comfortable country to go to Afghanistan -- a country I've come to love - -to help them, who will protect me and the many others like me? Rest assured I will respectfully cover up as a women, I will respect the norms and mores of Afghanistan, but on pain of death, I won't don a burqa. The arbitrary end date must mean the international community KNOWS beyond a shadow of a doubt that Afghanistan will be safe after the 2011-2012 withdrawal.

2) What evidence do the Western G8 nations posses that leads them to conclude Afghanistan will be free from terrorist threats after 2011-12 and can that insightful piece of information be shared with the rest of us citizens of the world?

Once again, I thank my American neighbors for providing the opportunity to discourse.

Irshad U.
|
Pakistan
April 19, 2010

Irshad U. in Pakistan writes:

Ambassador Holbrooke is doing an excellent job. However Pakistan's security is gravely threatened by our energy crisis. What are Ambassador Holbrooke's views on this? Irshad U., Rhodes Scholar

Kathryn D.
|
Florida, USA
April 19, 2010

Kathryn D. in Florida writes:

Why the US is not expanding the very successful use of mosque-based schools to teach women literacy, health, etc?

Richard r.
|
Michigan, USA
April 19, 2010

Richard R. in Michigan writes:

Why aren't we destroying the Opium farms?

These feed the illegal drug trade providing income for arms purchases from Iran.

atia
|
Pakistan
April 19, 2010

Atia in Pakistan writes:

i want to participate for discussion of afganistan and america

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