News

Top US Commanders Discuss Strategy with Afghan and Pakistani Leaders

The top U.S. military commander met with Afghan leaders in Kabul to discuss the upcoming U.S troop buildup and training of local security forces. Meanwhile, the regional commander met with civilian and military leaders in neighboring Pakistan to urge them to step up pressure on Afghan Taliban hiding on the Pakistani side of the border.

Ayaz Gul

The top U.S. military commander met with Afghan leaders in Kabul to discuss the upcoming U.S troop buildup and training of local security forces.  Meanwhile, the regional commander met with civilian and military leaders in neighboring Pakistan to urge them to step up pressure on Afghan Taliban hiding on the Pakistani side of the border. 

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen arrived in Kabul just hours after suspected Taliban militants killed at least 16 Afghan policemen, underscoring the security crisis in the country.  Foreign troops under command of General Stanley McChrystal also have suffered record numbers of casualties this year in Afghanistan.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Afghan leaders, Admiral Mullen painted a grim picture of the security situation in the country..

"The insurgency has grown more violent, more pervasive and more sophisticated," said Admiral Mullen. "By General McChrystal's own estimate insurgents now have a dominant influence in 11 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, and they are becoming much more effective in the use of improvised explosive devices and small unit tactics."

The first of 30,000 U.S reinforcements are preparing to arrive in the country later this week as part of President Obama's new war strategy for Afghanistan.

Admiral Mullen also said in Kabul he is concerned about militant bases across the border in Pakistan.

"I remain deeply concerned by the growing level of collusion between the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida, and other extremist groups taking refuge across the border in Pakistan," he said. "Getting at this network, which is now more entrenched, will be a far more difficult task than it was just one year ago."

U.S civilian and military leaders have praised Pakistan's efforts to uproot local Taliban bases, particularly in its border region, but Washington has also stepped up pressure on the country to move against extremists believed to be using Pakistani territory for attacks on American forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, U.S regional commander General David Petraeus met with leaders in neighboring Pakistan to explain the Obama administration's new Afghan strategy.  Pakistani officials have expressed concerns the deployment of American forces in eastern and southern of Afghanistan could push Taliban fighters to cross into Pakistan.

Speaking to a local television station after his meetings in Islamabad, General Petraeus said his visit is aimed at emphasizing the need for close coordination and cooperation with the Pakistani army.

"The additional forces will obviously enable us to do more operations particularly in the south and in the east," said General Petraeus. "And before we conduct them we want to sit down with the Pakistani military to talk about what it is that we are going to do to ensure that they are aware of that.  In some cases perhaps they need to be ready for a flow that will go one way just as when there are further Pakistani operations conducted we need to be ready as well.  So we need to coordinate, we need to cooperate."

General Petraeus also said the United States has not seen any evidence within the past two years suggesting Pakistan's prime spy agency, the ISI, is helping al-Qaida or Afghan militants blamed for attacks on American and allied forces in Afghanistan.  
 

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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs