Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Speaks With U.S. and International Troops in Afghanistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 19, 2009
Secretary Clinton Speaks with U.S. Civil and Military Personnel
Secretary Clinton in Discussion with U.S. Civil and Military Personnel
Secretary Clinton Speaks at a Press Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan
Secretary Clinton Talks at a Press Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan
Close-up of Secretary Clinton at a Press Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan
Secretary Clinton Listens to a Question at a Press Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan
Secretary Clinton Signs Autographs for U.S. Military Personnel in Kabul, Afghanistan

Trip Information Page | Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary

Today, Secretary Clinton spoke with U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan, where she said:

"I just want to make three quick points. First, we are here for a purpose, and this is a mission that is important to the United States and to those who have joined us in it. It’s a mission that partners with the people and Government of Afghanistan against a common enemy that poses a threat not only to people here, but people back at home, wherever you may be from. And that’s why I really express on behalf of certainly our country – President Obama and our Administration and the American people – our gratitude for your willingness to serve.

Secondly, we have to do everything we can to create the capacity of the Afghan Government and the Afghan people to protect themselves. And I was very pleased to hear today when President Karzai said that he hopes that within three years, the Afghan security forces will have the lead in important areas, and within five years – which is an ambitious goal, but he stated it – the Afghan security forces would have the lead throughout the country.

Now, there would probably be the necessity for continuing partnering, advising, training, but to take the lead and to take the fight to the enemy is what he said he wanted to see happen. And the only way that could happen is by the work that you do – the training, the mentoring, the support that you give to your Afghan counterparts. And we’re going to be giving you the kind of encouragement that you need to be able to help deliver on this goal that President Karzai set for Afghanistan.

Thirdly, I know that serving here is challenging. There are a lot of sacrifices, most particularly not being able to see your family and friends for long periods of time, and that many of you have been here not just once, but twice, three times, and I met somebody today who is on his fourth tour. So I really appreciate your willingness to serve, but I also know that for everybody who serves, there’s a family that serves as well, that’s trying to take care of everything and hold it together back wherever home is. And I hope if you email or you call or you write, you’ll let them know that I’m grateful for their service as well. Because we couldn’t have, in the United States, the superb, all-volunteer service we have if it wasn’t a family commitment. Parents, spouses, kids, everybody knows that when you sign up, there’s no predictability about where you’re going to be and how often they’re going to get to see you. And I guess as a mom, I’d say be sure you write home and email and all of that. (Laughter.)"Full Text



Maryland, USA
November 19, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Gentlewomen,Gentlemen and Gentlefolks of the Department of States. :)

I appreciate the work you all are doing, over in Afghanistan and Iraq. I especially appreciate, the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. They are "Extraordinary People" who's courage and determanation has no boundaries . When it comes to our Country's safety and the wellbeing of people in need.

I would also like to say ,i like Hillary's black jacket with the leaves and flowers on it "Very Nice" .

Anyways....Cya.. Ladies & Gentlemen .....:)

November 21, 2009

Robert in Afghanistan writes:

I am the Soldier's back she signed! It meant alot to us that she took time out of her schedule to see us, thank you Madam Secretary!

Virginia, USA
November 21, 2009

Milan in Virginia writes:

As I expected, Madam Secretary are doing excellent job.

"She is the star of the Obama Cabinet and an international celebrity..." and Secretary Clinton understand that force and diplomacy had to go hand-in-hand... Clinton's ability to change negative attitudes abroad makes her the most powerful USA public diplomat in some time"...

California, USA
November 22, 2009

Richard in California writes:

I had a recent conversation with a good friend and dedicated American citizen who was born in Afghanistan, but received his higher education (Civil Engineering) in the USA. After a career as a Utah roads engineer, he now spends a significant effort in volunteer efforts. He has an idea that of an estimated 5000 Afghan-Americans, probably a few hundred would be willing to help the U.S. Military in communicating with the native people in their respective home regions, with the purpose of explaining to them what we are trying to do for them. He has the opinion that Afghan-Americans would be more effective than other Americans with little cultural experience in that region. I believe he envisions a trip with the protection and supervision of the U.S. military. While I cannot speak for any other Afghan-American, I know my friend would be an excellent ambassador who would volunteer his time. Obviously there would be expense in preparing, transporting, and supervising such volunteers, but it certainly seems some positive results might be priceless. After watching a brief broadcast depicting a U.S. Army officer showing his frustration as he tried to communicate via an interpreter to Afghans who had been intimidated by Taliban, Abdul's idea made a great deal of sense. I have emailed my Senators and Congressman with his identity, phone number and my phone number. This is a very good man who would be a very good volunteer ambassador. If any State Department official reads this, please contact me if you have any thought that this concept could be beneficial to our effort to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan.

New York, USA
November 23, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Cycle of Fail.....

Corruption, War, Civilian Deaths, Incursions, Terrorism, Civil Disputes, Drones, Rogue Troops, Narco-State,lack of security, more Corruption......Questions: Do we really think more troops will fix this problem? Or are we playing into an anachronistic political script?


Latest Stories