News

US Official: Progress on US-Afghan Partnership

Afghan police keep watch at a checkpoint in Kabul, April 10, 2012.
Afghan police keep watch at a checkpoint in Kabul, April 10, 2012.
Brian Padden

U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham says progress is being made towards a strategic partnership agreement that will authorize a reduced U.S. military presence after the 2014 withdrawal of most Western combat troops.

A recent arrangement that shifts responsibility for detainees and special-forces operations to Afghan control, he said, has allowed for progress on a long-term strategic partnership that would authorize a U.S. training and support role after 2014.

Cunningham would like to have the formal agreement in place prior to the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, which will look at the international community's future role in supporting Afghan forces.

"The end result of this will be a very clear and strong demonstration of long-term international support for Afghanistan," said Cunningham. "That should send a signal to the people of Afghanistan and to the region."

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said an Afghan force of 230,000 had been agreed upon as a conceptual model, a significant reduction from the 352,000-strong Afghan army and national police expected to be in place this year.

The defense minister said the reduction of forces would depend on conditions on the ground and is based on an assumption of diminishing threats from the Taliban.

Afghan forces are funded almost entirely by foreign contributions, and President Hamid Karzai has said the international community has already agreed to provide $4 billion annually to fund the Afghan military after 2014. Cunningham did not provide any specifics on future funding but said the level of military cooperation would be an ongoing subject of discussions for years to come.

American military involvement in Afghanistan has become increasingly unpopular in the U.S., and Afghan resentment of the international military presence has been on the rise following a series of incidents, including the massacre of 17 Afghan villagers, for which U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been charged, and the inadvertent burning of Qurans at an American military base.

Cunningham said the international community's long-term commitment to stay engaged in Afghanistan in a supporting role will help reduce tensions, maintain stability and should deter insurgents.

"I would hope that this would encourage the Taliban and others to think about the prospects for agreement instead of what they did yesterday, murdering more Afghan civilians in the streets of your cities," he said.

There have been a number attacks this week on Afghan forces, including Taliban suicide bombings that killed at least 16 people on Tuesday.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William
April 18, 2012 12:01 PM
In reallity the afghans really hate americans, And truth be told americans are starting to hate america because of our control freak government and its journey into totalatarianism a nation of laws that only benefit the upper class and are breaking down the middle class and stupid tax laws that prevent people from geeting ahead.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs