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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid