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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid