News / Asia

Clinton: Taliban Cannot Outlast US Military Pressure

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a tribute in memory of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the Asia Society in New York, February 18, 2011
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a tribute in memory of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the Asia Society in New York, February 18, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday the Taliban cannot defeat or outlast U.S. military pressure and must break with al-Qaida and reconcile with the Afghan government. In a policy speech in New York, she also announced veteran diplomat Marc Grossman will replace the late Richard Holbrooke as U.S. special envoy for the region.

In a major policy statement on the Afghan conflict, Clinton said the Obama administration's strategy presents the Taliban with a stark choice of breaking with al-Qaida and rejoining Afghan society, or to continue siding with terrorists and face international consequences.

Addressing the Asia Society in New York, the secretary said the administration is conducting three concurrent "surges": a military offensive against al-Qaida and the Taliban, a civilian campaign to bolster the Afghan and Pakistani governments, and an intensified diplomatic push to end the war and chart a secure future for the region.  

Clinton said the Taliban made the wrong choice after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 to protect al-Qaida, and that it faces another critical choice now.

"Today, the escalating pressure of our military campaign is sharpening a similar decision for the Taliban: break ties with al-Qaida, give up your arms and abide by the Afghan constitution, and you can rejoin Afghan society," said Clinton.  "Refuse, and you will continue to face the consequences of being tied to al-Qaida as an enemy of the international community. They cannot wait us out. They cannot defeat us. And they cannot escape this choice."

Clinton said as the transition proceeds and Afghan leadership strengthens, a process of political reconciliation "will become increasingly viable."

She reiterated the Obama administration's intention to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July - based on conditions on the ground - and to complete the process by the end of 2014 with no lingering military presence.

"In no way should our enduring commitment be misunderstood as a desire by America or our allies to occupy Afghanistan against the will of its people," added Clinton.  "We respect Afghans' proud history of resistance to foreign occupation. And we do not seek any permanent American military bases in their country or a presence that would be a threat to any of Afghanistan's neighbors."

Clinton also lamented the "historic distrust" between Pakistan and Afghanistan and urged greater cooperation.

She said Pakistan should take "decisive steps" to ensure that the Afghan Taliban cannot continue to conduct the insurgency from Pakistani territory.

The Secretary also announced the administration is calling back veteran senior diplomat Marc Grossman from retirement to become the new U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He replaces the late Richard Holbrooke, whose sudden death of a heart problem in December was a blow to U.S. regional diplomacy.

Grossman, who served in Pakistan and was U.S. ambassador to Turkey, retired in 2005 as undersecretary of state for political affairs - traditionally the highest post for a career foreign service officer.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid