News / Asia

NATO Commander Hails Afghan Army Progress

Admiral James Stavridis at Camp Blackhorse, outside Kabul, 27 May 2010
Admiral James Stavridis at Camp Blackhorse, outside Kabul, 27 May 2010
Jennifer Glasse

NATO's top commander, Admiral James Stavridis, is visiting Afghanistan after announcing a restructuring of NATO forces before a planned offensive in the country's south aimed at eliminating the Taliban's presence and influence.  Stavridis is also reviewing the progress of the new Afghan army.

On a dusty wind-swept military camp outside the Afghan capital Kabul, NATO's top commander, Admiral James Stavridis addresses hundreds of soldiers in the new Afghan army.

"I am the commander of 47 nations  who are together with you in this beautiful country," said Admiral Stavridis. "My job is to bring together the military capability to help you as you train to build your country."

One of NATO's big jobs in Afghanistan is training the police and army.  The police force is expected to grow to 134,000 officers in the next 16 months, a 35 percent increase.  By then the Afghan National Army should have 52 percent more soldiers, totaling more than 171,000 men.

British Brigadier General Simon Levey is in charge of army training.  He says the Afghan soldiers are learning well, but what he really lacks is mid-level officers.

"The one thing I have not got is experience," said General Levey. "I can give them training, but I cannot buy them experience.  That takes time and that is the biggest challenge."

Levey and his NATO forces basically run the whole training program.  Ultimately that is supposed to change.

"It is a long-term transitional process whereby the Afghan institutions themselves are able to do all their own training," he said. "At the moment we are training and mentoring them.  Over time, we will just reduce to mentoring, and finally just to observing."


Parts of the new Afghan army, along with thousands of U.S. troops, are moving into the southern Afghanistan Taliban heartland around Kandahar.  The intention there is for Afghans and NATO troops of the International Security Assistance Force to curtail Taliban influence in the province.

NATO military chief Stavridis is optimistic.

"By partnering together with the security forces in Afghanistan, ISAF, our military side, is making great strides in security and I believe with confidence the international community coming here together will create the strides in governance and economy and development that we need to move forward," he said.

Officials here say the mission in the south will be pivotal to the overall success in Afghanistan and a crucial test of the new Afghan army and police.   

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid