News / Asia

    British Government Says 'Progress Made' in Afghanistan

    Britain's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, delivers his first foreign policy speech at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, 1 Jul 2010 (file photo)
    Britain's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, delivers his first foreign policy speech at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, 1 Jul 2010 (file photo)

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said international troops are making steady progress in Afghanistan, but corruption in the country remains a serious obstacle.

    Hague told the House of Commons in London on Wednesday that international forces in Afghanistan have made gains. "Afghan and ISAF forces have checked the momentum of the insurgency and the area under the control of the government of Afghanistan is increasing."

    He said the British government is confident that it has the right military strategy in place. He also said, however, that violent incidents are increasingly common. "One of the effects of increased military activity is that the number of security incidents, particularly those involving direct fire, has increased sharply."

    Head of Britain's armed forces, Sir Jock Stirrup, spoke Wednesday to the BBC. Stirrup said he doesn't expect to see the bulk of British troops leave Afghanistan for at least four years. He said the future of Afghanistan remains uncertain.

    "All of the progress that I see in Afghanistan - and I do see progress, there's no doubt about that - is far from irreversible," said Stirrup. "And we have to sustain the commitment. We have to sustain the pressure."

    Stirrup is due formally to stand down as Chief of the Defense Staff at the end of this week. He's to be replaced by General Sir David Richards.

    Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, has come under fire this week after admitting that his chief of staff received money from Iran in bundles of cash. Karzai said the transaction was completely transparent.

    But Secretary Hague said corruption remains a major issue in Afghanistan, despite efforts to combat the problem.

    Wyn Rees is a Professor in International Relations at Britain's University of Nottingham. He said although international forces appear to be making some military progress, the political situation in Afghanistan does not seem so positive. "Against that, you'd have to look at the political picture and say that continuing problems with the extent to which the Karzai government is seen as being the right partner with which to work."

    Meanwhile, Britain's Ministry of Defense has released details of incidents in which British troops attacked Afghan civilians. The incidents were among thousands mentioned in U.S. army logs posted by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks earlier this year.

    WikiLeaks last week posted a new group of almost 400,000 secret war logs related to the war in Iraq.

    A top United Nations official called Tuesday on the U.S. government to investigate the role of U.S. forces in human rights abuses in Iraq. Navi Pillay said the latest documents released by WikiLeaks raise new questions about "serious breaches of international human rights law in Iraq."


    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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