News

    Top US General Says Afghan Violence Worsening

    The top American military commander in Afghanistan says he needs more troops and economic aid as soon as possible for the battle against insurgents that is getting more violent.  VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details.

    General David McKiernan, the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon the security situation in the south and east of the country continues to deteriorate.

    McKiernan says NATO forces are in a very tough fight against an insurgency that could get worse before it gets better.  

    "We see an increased number of foreign fighters, increased levels of violence.  People generally do not feel secure, do not have freedom of movement and so the additional military capabilities that have been asked for are needed as quickly as possible," he said.

    More than 220 coalition soldiers have been killed in 2008, making it the deadliest year for them in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 to oust the Taliban.

    McKiernan says he needs at least 10,000 more troops to fight the insurgents, in addition to another U.S. combat brigade that is scheduled to arrive in January.

    The general told reporters an increase in support in other areas is also needed.

    "It is not just a question about more soldiers.  It is a question about more governance, about more economic aid, about more political assistance for the government of Afghanistan as well as military capabilities," said McKiernan.

    U.S. officials say al-Qaida and Taliban fighters use Pakistan's tribal region to launch attacks inside Afghanistan.

    General McKiernan says he is encouraged by a recent Pakistani military operation that Islamabad says has killed at least 1,000 militants in the Bajaur tribal region along the Afghan border.

    "I am encouraged by the military operations that the Pakistani Army and Frontier Corps have undertaken in places like Bajaur.  We are watching those very closely to see if there is a cause and effect with the strength of the insurgency on the Afghan side of the border," added McKiernan. "We think that is a positive step that they are taking on those militant sanctuaries."

    Recently Afghanistan's Defense Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, proposed the creation of a joint military force to fight militants on both sides of the border with Pakistan.

    General McKiernan says he supports the proposal.

    "It is a very open, porous border, but the idea of a combined security effort there with Pakistani military, Frontier Corpsmen, Afghan border police with ISAF coordinated along the border I think is a very powerful idea and certainly I would like to pursue that in the future," he said.

    McKiernan says among the additional troops he is asking for, he is hoping to get units that will be able to fight the insurgents and serve as trainers for the Afghan Army and police.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora