News

    Karzai, Gates Agree Afghans Need Long-Term International Commitment

    During a news conference in Kabul with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Mr. Karzai repeated his hope that Afghan forces will be able to take the lead for security in five years.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai says it could take 20 years for Afghanistan to be able to pay for its own security, although he has said he hopes his new army and police force will be able to take over security control in five years.  President Karzai spoke at a joint news conference in Kabul with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. 

    President Karzai says ambitious plans for a large, modern Afghan army are simply more than the country can afford for a long time. 

    "For a number of years, maybe for another 15 to 20 years, Afghanistan will not be able to sustain a force of that capability and nature with its own resources," Mr. Karzai said.

    Speaking with President Karzai at a news conference, Secretary Gates indicated he was not surprised by that statement, but hopes it will not take that long. 

    "I think that there is a realism on our part that it will be some time before Afghanistan is able to sustain its security forces entirely on its own," Gates said. "And whether that is 15 or 20 years, we will hope for accelerated economic development in Afghanistan."

    The two men also discussed the timing of the planned transition of security responsibility from U.S. and coalition forces to the Afghans.

    Announcing an increase of 30,000 American troops last week, U.S. President Barack Obama said they will begin to hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces by July of 2011, but he did not say how long the transition will take.  Secretary Gates indicated the pace of the transition could roughly match President Karzai's stated desire for his forces to be operating on their own in five years.

    "We expect that this is a several year process.  Whether it is three years or two years or four years, I think, remains to be seen," Gates said.

    The Obama administration is working hard to convince Afghans, Americans and coalition partners the international security role in Afghanistan will not end until the Afghan forces are ready, but also that the international military deployment is not open-ended. 

    Secretary Gates said the United States will continue to have a long-term commitment to helping Afghanistan even after the security transition is completed.  

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora