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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More