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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs