News / Asia

US, Afghan Officials Debate Country's Future Security

US Afghan Officials Debate Country's Future Securityi
X
March 01, 2014 3:55 AM
There is debate over the future of U.S. - Afghan relations after U.S. combat forces withdraw later this year. In particular, there is concern over whether Afghanistan will be able to maintain security and stability if the government decides against signing a security agreement that could allow a residual U.S. force to remain in the country. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, U.S. and Afghan officials discussed the issue at a forum co-sponsored by VOA.
US Afghan Officials Debate Country's Future Security
Pamela Dockins
There is debate over the future of U.S. - Afghan relations after U.S. combat forces withdraw later this year. In particular, there is concern over whether Afghanistan will be able to maintain security and stability if the government decides against signing a security agreement that could allow a residual U.S. force to remain in the country. U.S. and Afghan officials discussed the issue at a forum co-sponsored by VOA.

After 12 years in Afghanistan, the U.S. combat mission is coming to an end this year. The U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to help stabilize the country and protect civilians.

There is uncertainty over whether U.S. troops will have a post-2014 role that would consist of continued training of Afghan forces and helping in sustaining counterterrorism operations.

At the Washington forum, U.S. Ambassador Marc Grossman said the threat of a terrorist resurgence bolsters the need for an extended U.S. presence. "I think the report today that al-Qaida might be considering reconstituting itself in Afghanistan is the biggest, most important argument you can make for a rapid signing of the bilateral security agreement," he said.

Afghanistan holds presidential elections in April. Without a continued international presence, the elections will be no guarantee of future peace and stability, says U.S. Ambassador James Dobbins. "On the other hand, even with a security agreement in place, a bad election could also result in an Afghanistan that wasn't peaceful, that wasn't stable and that wasn't developing. So, I think Afghanistan needs both."

In a segment moderated by VOA Director David Ensor, journalists expressed their views about Afghanistan's future.

Journalists Safety Committee director Najib Sharifi said a lack of a bilateral security agreement (BSA) could be a setback for reporters in the country.

"If a lack of [a] BSA [bilateral security agreement] is associated with [a] lack of economic aid to Afghanistan, there will be significant challenges ahead for media and the whole concept of freedom of expression in Afghanistan," he said.

But Afghanistan's U.S. ambassador, Eklil Hakimi, said with the help of its international allies, his country has developed the strong security forces that it needs to face challenges after the U.S. withdrawal.

"I'm sure that those challenges that are waiting [for] us, post-2014, we can tackle that with the strong army and police forces and intelligence agencies that we have," said Hakimi.

Hakimi said what his country may need, for some time, is support in the way of equipment and training.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs