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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid