News / USA

US, NATO Gear Up for Major Offensive in Kandahar

President Barack Obama visit US troops in Afghanistan earlier this year
President Barack Obama visit US troops in Afghanistan earlier this year

Multimedia

Audio
Jennifer Glasse

Thousands of additional American forces are heading into southern Afghanistan, part of the troop surge that President Barack Obama has deployed to help end the Taliban-fuelled insurgency. Already, U.S. and coalition troops are increasing pressure in and around the southern city of Kandahar, where the Taliban have re-emerged and are threatening the population.

Military officials say the strategy behind the operation in Kandahar is to establish security so that ordinary Afghans can live their lives without fear of the Taliban.

U.S. Major General James Terry will take command of southern Afghanistan forces in the fall. He is visiting Kandahar to get a sense of what is happening and describes what the coming weeks will bring.

"You are going to see an uplift of forces come in and I think you'll start to see this tightening ring of security in and around Kandahar city that I think will then provide the security bubble for governance to start to take in and development to start to take root in Kandahar city," the major general said.

US, NATO Gear Up for Major Offensive in Kandahar
US, NATO Gear Up for Major Offensive in Kandahar

In Kandahar city itself, Afghan police and military forces are to take the lead in the operation. Their military units, called "Kandaks," will be supported by coalition troops.  

Afghan security forces have improved a lot since General Terry was last here in 2006.

"Very encouraging, I think they've made a lot of significant progress especially in command and control and the quality of their Kandaks and their efficiency," he said.

Military officials acknowledge that Kandahar is the key to success in Afghanistan. The Taliban was founded outside the city in 1994, and have recently been flexing their muscles again. On May,22 this year, they even launched a ground attack on Kandahar air field, NATO's sprawling military base outside the city.  

Canadian Ambassador William Crosbie welcomes the strategy to build up forces and establish security. Canadian forces led the vanguard here nearly five years ago says Crosbie.

"We have battled against the odds in a province that has become increasingly violent. It's a province that desperately needs development, and better security so we're delighted to have the American troops coming."

Crosbie desribes the U.S. commitment as more than just forces.

"They're not only bringing the opportunity to give Afghans more security, working closely with the Afghan national security forces, but bringing very important development dollars," said Crosbie.

Alongside the additional military forces, civilians have come as well in an effort to shore up the region's infrastructure and provide opportunities for the people. Tens of millions of dollars have been poured into projects to help the people, like a $50 million Afghan police compound that will open later this summer.  

Ambassador Crosbie said there have already been many changes.

"The biggest area of progress is giving Afghans the ability to actually change their own future, through education, through training of teachers, through economic opportunities such as the rehabilitation of the Dahla Dam, restoring agriculture."

But no one believes success is assured, least of all the Afghans. One policeman told a senior military officer his children are virtually prisoners in their own home after he received repeated threats from Taliban militants, who have carried out a series of targeted assassinations against Afghans who work with or support the United States and NATO.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid