Conversations With America: A Discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 19, 2010

Update:Transcript|Questions Submitted on DipNote

On Monday, April 19, 2010, Chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America Marc Grossman 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 here on DipNote at 12:30 p.m. (EDT).



Stephen F.
Ohio, USA
April 26, 2010

Stephen F. in Ohio writes:

I have been to Pakistan on extended visits doing peace work with ngos there in 2007 and 2008. I am in regular contact with Pakistani peace ngos, student groups and minority Christian groups that just recently got seats in the Pakistan government to hopefully get them some representation. These groups are working with little to know resources and I use my own funds to travel and do the programs I do with these groups.

When I have tried to get support for these programs from our government I either get no reply or the typical form letter giving me a bureaucratic dead end. If you want peace in the region one excellent and very inexpensive way is to support the peace people there who are already trying to make a difference. I do this for free. Which is a lot more than I can say for many of the corporate contractors that often over charge the government for inadequate services.

Any suggestions on how these groups can get help through the State Dept.? I'm hoping to see the conference this afternoon, but may miss it because of family obligations, a 3 yr. old grandson.

Please email me or phone me if you feel you can help.

Steve F.

Steve B.
California, USA
April 19, 2010

Steve B. in California writes:

How can Afghanistan become self sustaining as the U.S. and others tire of providing financial support for education and other activities?

United States
April 26, 2010

U in USA writes:

Korengal Valley,"The Vally of Death", US Troops Defeated by Intense Fighting. US outpost now under Taliban control

This has turned into another Nam... Leadership , lol is doing such a great job...

Fary M.
California, USA
April 19, 2010

Fary M. in California writes:

Dear Mr. Holbrooke,

In about 9 years we are present in Afghanistan, there are 3 major issues we are still dealing with it: Electricity,Water & Sewer and roads which is essential for stability, peace and winning the war. Corruption due to billions of $ pouring in that country with no accountability and actually add to the corruption. Do you have any plan on these issues?

Matthew L.
New York, USA
April 26, 2010

Matthew R.L. in New York writes:

This is a question for Mr. Holbrooke and the US Dep't of State -- Is Mr. Holbrooke aware that U.S. citizen Louis M., while serving in Afghanistan with the UN, was killed in October 2009 not by Taliban but, video indicates, by Afghan National forces? What is being done about this?

Longer question: This is a request for comment on newly emerged information about the death in Afghanistan on October 28, 2009 of U.S. citizen Louis M. At the time, Ambassador Rice said I condemn in the strongest terms the brutal and cowardly attack in Kabul today on United Nations workers and members of the Afghan National Security Forces. An American citizen was among those who lost their lives. My heartfelt condolences and sympathies go out to the families and friends of all of the victims. The United Nations has been doing vital work for the Afghan people for more than fifty years. The United States strongly supports the leadership and staff of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as they work bravely each day under incredibly difficult circumstances, and we are grateful to the Afghan National Security Forces for their commitment and sacrifice.

The international community stands together in its commitment to defeat those extremists seeking to halt democratic progress in Afghanistan. The United States stands firmly with the people of Afghanistan as they prepare for the November 7 presidential runoff elections.

Yesterday, after I asked a question at the noon briefing, the UN Spokesperson's office sent me this
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Date: Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Subject: Your questions on Louis M.
To: Inner City Press
(further response on Louis M.)

The United Nations has followed due process in investigating the death of staff in Afghanistan last October by instituting a Board of Inquiry after an initial fact-finding by staff in Kabul and New York. The United Nations has been in contact with the responsible Afghan authorities in the course of its inquiries. The Board will submit its report in due course. Further actions by the United Nations will depend on its findings. The specific circumstances in which Louis Maxwell died are currently being investigated and it would be premature to comment further at this stage.

The United Nations is also cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its inquiries into the incident. The United Nations has briefed the Maxwell family on the progress of its initial inquiries and is determined to support the family.
Questions: when did the US State Dept and, separately, Amb. Rice become aware of a credible alternative factual explanation of the attack and death, and of the US FBI's involvement in investigating this alternative explanation?

Why was Amb Rice's statement not amended at that time? Is the statement going to be amended or supplemented now?

nungky t.
April 19, 2010

Nungky T. in Indonesia writes:

i hope there is no more american soldier must die for afghanistan n pakistan war. I support with moral n courage for stop all terorrist all over afghanistan pakistan irak lebanon including in indonesia too. But i think the america goverment must have smart strategy no much bu smart only to face this problem. I'm moslem too but i'm really don't like what the moslem radical belive about the holly war. I felt so sad when i'm always watch american soldier's dead. Their live is not to cheap n nothing can replace it. C' mon just don't be great only in movies but make it happen. Thank u for everyone who read my sentence. Long live america "sempe fi"

MOhamed E.
District Of Columbia, USA
April 19, 2010

Mohamed E. in Washington, DC writes:

Why does not the administration engage the Muslim countries in fixing situations on grounds on Afghanistan? Organizations like the Organization of the Islamic conference, Al-Azhar foundation or even the supreme Mufti of Saudi Arabia

Shehzad K.
Missouri, USA
April 19, 2010

Shehzad K. in Missouri writes:

How can we help you in pakistan and Afghanistan, especially in energy, Transport & communications, health and Education. Please guide us with ways to support US government in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Virginia, USA
April 19, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Please post a transcript of this conversation. Thanks.

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Flavius in Virginia -- We will post a transcript as soon as one is available. Please be sure to check back soon. Thanks!

Janet D.
Kansas, USA
April 26, 2010

Dr. Janet P. writes:

When the President visited Afghanistan he met with the troops. It is clear that many who are in the combat zone are very young men. There mission as defined by the White House's intelligence white paper on the subject of the insurgency plan is one of engagement with the people of Afghanistan. But the language barrier and differences in culture make it confusing for both sides to have adequate communication that would allow for the real exchange of ideas. But I am sure that the people of Afghanistan have the same hopes and dreams as people everywhere and the same basic needs. They are looking to us to see if we meet those basic needs or does the Taliban do a better job. With the Taliban now providing an almost portable justice system and offering schooling in the Koran, we must be better at providing basic aspects of field justice and also eduction. In another Muslim country Iran not so far away, the people devised an ingenious way to teach the children. They took some teachers and gave them portable blackboards and chalk and told them to go deep into the countryside and teach the people. This simple educational program which was just a portable blackboard and a sack of chalk was widely accepted and the teachers visits to the remote villages were very much appreciated. These people are eager for education. We have young American men in Afghanistan who all can read and write English. We have others who are natives who speak the native tongues. Perhaps we should go low tech and reach the people with the simple purchase of 200 portable blackboards and a bunch of chalk. Check out the movie "Blackboards" by the Muslim Woman and Iranian film director Samira Makhmalbaf

Arizona, USA
April 20, 2010

Virginia in Arizona writes:

Sorry I missed the conversation. It is a very difficult situation for us to be involved in. I hope the U.S. presence there will somehow eventually be good for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I look forward to seeing the transcript, thanks.

Nasir S.
April 20, 2010

Nasir S. in Afghanistan writes:

This is a true fact that the United States is failing the mission in Afghanistan and it is all because Obama administration against the well of majority of Afghans deal with a man (Karzai) that his own family members are involved in drugs and corruption. To continue with Karzai that is just waste of time and resources.


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