News / USA

Gates: More Casualties in Afghanistan to be Expected, Allied Strategy Will Work

Multimedia

Audio

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that nearly all of the American surge forces have arrived in Afghanistan to press the new strategy President Barack Obama announced in December.  At a news conference in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Gates predicted more U.S. and Afghan casualties, but he said the strategy will work.

Secretary Gates said the U.S. and allied effort in Afghanistan finally has the right resources "to begin delivering tangible, lasting results."  He said, however, that progress will not come without cost.

"As we expected and warned, coalition forces as well as Afghan Army and police are taking heavier casualties as we go into areas the Taliban has dominated for years.  Having said that, our enemies are paying a very steep price and feeling more pressure than ever."

Gates said that pressure will intensify as coalition military operations expand.  He said he believes it will lead to the reintegration of Taliban fighters and reconciliation with the group's senior leaders.

Gates noted that in addition to the 30,000 more U.S. troops, there are 7,000 fresh international troops - nearly three-quarters of their commitment - as well as triple the number of American diplomats and aid workers, and a substantial increase in the size and capability of the Afghan security forces.

The secretary also acknowledged that American aid money has contributed to corruption among Afghan officials.  He said steps are being taken to change that, and he welcomed the Afghan government's anti-corruption efforts.

"The U.S. must make sure that American dollars and other foreign assistance do not fuel corruption.  [U.S.] Ambassador [Karl] Eikenberry and [U.S. Army] General [David] Petraeus are putting in place new procedures and controls to accomplish this objective.  And we fully support the Afghan government in its own efforts to address corruption."

Gates also said he and Afghan President Karzai agreed that the anti-corruption effort must be Afghan-led.  Mr. Karzai issued a passionate defense of his stance on corruption in the face of mounting international criticism.  He blamed the press for painting an inaccurate picture of his efforts.

"I hope you would do the job of conveying the concerns of the Afghan people and me as the president of this country to work toward building an Afghanistan, with the help of the United States and our other allies, that is a state based on proper laws and regulations that is a lawful state, not an abusive police state," said Gates.

The Afghan president accused foreign elements of involvement in the recent arrest and alleged mistreatment of a corruption suspect.  He said that is why he intervened to get the man released.  

Mr. Karzai also said that his decision to ban security contractors in four months, except on foreign compounds, is final.  U.S. officials said the controversial decision will make it difficult for diplomats and aid workers to safely move around the country.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid