News / Asia

Kabul Announces Fourth Stage Security Transition

From left, Afghan security officials Mujtaba Patang, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Besmilah Mohammadi, and Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, address media, Kabul, Dec. 31, 2012.
From left, Afghan security officials Mujtaba Patang, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Besmilah Mohammadi, and Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, address media, Kabul, Dec. 31, 2012.
Ayaz Gul
The Afghan government has announced the fourth stage of the security transition, with Afghan forces set to take over responsibility for the security of nearly 90 percent of the country's population from NATO troops.

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, head of the country's security transition commission, told reporters in Kabul Monday the process has been progressing since it began in March 2011.

He said the three earlier stages of the security transition had put Afghan security forces in charge of safeguarding 75 percent of the population, and that the fourth stage will extend Afghan security responsibility to another 52 administrative units, which includes 12 provinces mostly in the north and interior of the country.
 
"An additional 11 percent of the population of the country will be covered in these 52 units," said Ahmadzai. "Altogether, we will be reaching 87 percent of the population of the country."

Ahmadzai reiterated that the goal of the transition process is assumption of full security by Afghan forces in December 2014, when most NATO troops will have withdrawn.

The government, he added, is well ahead of schedule and pleased with the outcome of previous stages.

"With very small exceptions, the general assessment is that the security conditions are better or the same at the beginning of those tranches, so we go forward with confidence."

The number of Afghan forces has rapidly grown over the past year, but critics are skeptical about their ability to maintain the country's security after withdrawal of the foreign troops.

Responding to criticism, Ahmadzai said Kabul officials decidedly emphasized quantity of personnel resources over the past three years.

"Now the emphasis is on quality," he said, explaining that Afghan national security forces have reached a ceiling of 350,000 members.

Both NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the U.S. commander of international troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, praised Monday's announcement as a significant step toward transferring full responsibility for security from NATO to Afghan national forces. General Allen said it is expected that all parts of Afghanistan will have begun the transition by summer 2013, and that Afghan forces will be in the lead for security nationwide.

Since the security transition began, there has been an increase in the number of causalities among Afghan troops and police, who now take the lead in most of the combat operations conducted jointly with NATO troops.

While insurgent violence in Afghanistan fell in 2012 and the overall security situation has seen improvement, the number of insider attacks by Afghans in uniform against their foreign counterparts has sharply increased. Those attacks left more than 60 foreign troops dead this past year and eroded confidence between the two sides.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs