Afghanistan and NATO

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 6, 2009
President Obama With NATO Leaders

The White House Blog provides information about President Obama's remarks on Afghanistan after the NATO meeting:

In a press conference after the NATO meeting, the President began by congratulating Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for his unanimous selection as NATO’s next Secretary General, while also recognizing Turkey for seeing past initial objections in the spirit of consensus. He thanked President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany for hosting him, and noted the significance of NATO’s two newest formal members, Albania and Croatia. But as everybody knew, Afghanistan was the top concern of the meeting, and the President spoke at length about his new plan for Afghanistan announced a week ago and the agreements reached in the meeting. President Obama said:

"We start from a simple premise: For years, our efforts in Afghanistan have lacked the resources needed to achieve our goals. And that's why the United States has recommitted itself to a clear and focused goal -- to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.

This effort cannot be America's alone. All of NATO understands that al Qaeda is a threat to all of us, and that this collective security effort must achieve its goals. And as a signal of that commitment, I am pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support for our new strategy. Keep in mind it was only just a week ago that we announced this new approach. But already with Secretary Clinton's work at The Hague and with the success at today's summit we've started to match real resources to achieve our goals.

We're leaving Strasbourg and Kehl with concrete commitments on NATO support. Our allies and partners have already agreed to provide approximately 5,000 troops and trainers to advance our new strategy, as well as increased civilian assistance. To support critical elections for August 20th, NATO will fully resource our election support force to maximize security. And our allies have committed additional funds to an Afghan elections trust fund that will provide the necessary resources for free and fair elections.

To accelerate and enhance our training of Afghan security forces, a new NATO mission, a new NATO training mission, will focus on high-level support for Afghan army, and training and mentoring for the Afghan police. And many of our allies and partners have also pledged support for a new trust fund to sustain Afghan national armies going forward.

And to strengthen Afghan institutions and advance opportunity for the Afghan people, we are working with our NATO allies and partners to achieve substantial increases in non-military assistance and to provide the kind of doctors, engineers, educators and agricultural specialists that are needed to make a difference on the ground."

Read more about the President's press conference and his comments about a law recently passed in Afghanistan that has received a great deal of attention.



New Jersey, USA
April 6, 2009

Fred in New Jersey writes:

I think is a good plan... But it could be much, much, better! The Taliban and Al Quaida are recruiting from the muslim men and boys. Cut off their supply of fresh recruits by making movies for Afghanistan that depict acts of patriotism and heroism in the war to free Afghanistan from Taliban and Al Quaida tyrany. Demonize the bad guys as murders of woman, children and old people (which they are true cowards), drug abusers, thieves, liars and rapists Which they also are. build up the good guys like the general who fought the Taliban and make heroes out of the Afghanistan Army Soldiors and political leaders fighting this war to free Afghanistan.

California, USA
April 15, 2009

Georgiann in California writes:

How critical is this??? More than any of us can even imagine. The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and the country could descend into complete chaos between May and August.

Why should we care about this small landlocked nation located somewhere in Asia? Is it just about extremists and Al Quaeda? NO! This summer will set the stage for several long term scenario's. An even longer,more painful, protracted involvement with continuing significant American (and civilian) losses with continuing destruction of infastructure.

Potential eventual seccession of all international aid and outside military involvement, returning the country essentially to the Taliban.

Or complete and total commitment by the international community to commit whatever it takes NOW (can't be stressed enough) to an all out humanitarian blitz to secure every corner of Afghanistan, eventually returning it to some form of democracy and self-rule.

Choose wisely, leaders.


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