Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by sob, Oct 22, 2009.
It is birthday time for Afghanistan.
They are delighted to blow out the candles that signifies assistance to ensure the end to the terrorism afoot.
Interestingly, China will not be alongside Pakistan since they too are worried about the Pak assisted terrorism becoming the world hub and threaten the Muslim majority areas of China!
The more the Chinese invest in Afghanistan, the less will be the bloody footprints of Pakistan.
Plot to kill Karzai foiled
Kabul, Oct. 5: Afghan security officials announced today that they had foiled a plot to assassinate President Hamid Karzai and had arrested six suspects, including a security guard at the gates of the presidential palace.
A spokesman for Afghanâ€™s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, said the suspects had ties to al Qaida and the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant group, but Afghan officials provided little evidence to substantiate those claims.......
The announcement was made as Karzai was visiting India, and he offered no immediate comment. A spokesman for the Nato-led forces here said they were examining the Afghan spy agencyâ€™s assertions.
Afghan security and intelligence officials have come under heightened scrutiny in recent weeks after a dramatic attack against the American embassy in Kabul that lasted for hours and a string of high-profile assassinations.
Plot to kill Karzai foiled
[h=1]For U.S., a Tricky Path in Dealing With Afghan Insurgents[/h]
RUSI - Progress and Challenges to Transition in Afghanistan Security - Afghan National Security Forces
Ten years into the war in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) has begun to assume the lead for security of its country. For the past 22 months, the Afghans, alongside the men and women of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), have worked tirelessly to develop their Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to be capable of providing security across Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
It is a remarkable story of Afghan progress, as the ANSF currently has the security lead in seven key areas around the country. In his presentation, Lieutenant General Caldwell will discuss how the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, assisted by NTM-Aâ€™s security force assistance, have generated capable forces which continue to grow in quality and professionalism. The next few years are critical to developing the Afghan institutions and systems that will sustain the ANSF for the long-term.
Nearly a fifth of the worldâ€™s nations have come together to help Afghanistan make tremendous progress amidst significant challenges. Through the combined efforts of the Afghan security ministries and NTM-A, Afghanistan is on a course that will create renewed opportunities for its people while preventing the country from again becoming a terrorist sanctuary.
You can listen to the audio presentation on the link above or read the transcript here http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/110923_-_U_-_Think_Tank_VTC_Script_RUSI.pdf
US forces make inroads into Haqqani heartland, kill 115
Soviet Experience in Afghanistan
Afghanistan faces $4bn defence funding shortfall
Thursday 1 December 2011
Afghan security forces are due to reach peak strength of 352,000 by the end of next year, but Kabul has been told it may have to make do with a much smaller force. Photograph: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images
Afghanistan's security forces face a $4bn (Â£2.5bn) funding shortfall after 2014 â€“ when they are supposed to take over the main responsibility for fighting the insurgency â€“ raising questions over whether the Kabul government will have the resources to keep the Taliban at bay, the Guardian has learned.
The Afghan army and police combined currently number about 308,000, and are due to reach their peak strength of 352,000 by the end of next year. The western strategy is for the Afghan national security forces (ANSF) to take on an increasing share in the fighting, allowing the US, Britain and their allies to withdraw all their troops from combat by 2014 and focus on training and counter-terrorist operations.
However, a 352,000-strong ANSF is estimated to cost $8bn and US officials have told their European counterparts that Washington is only prepared to foot $3bn of that bill after 2014. Other donors are expected to come up with another $1bn, enough to finance a force of only 220,000 troops.
Foreign and Afghan officials in Kabul agree such force would only be able to hold the line against the insurgents if there was a breakthrough in peace talks, or a collapse in the Taliban, both of which currently look unlikely.
"The Americans have told us that Congress is not prepared to give Afghanistan more military aid than Israel, which means no more than $3bn," a European official said.
The fear that international financial support for Afghanistan will evaporate in 2014 as the west struggles to escape from chronic recession and western capitals seek to put the conflict behind them, has alarmed the Kabul government of Hamid Karzai. Karzai will chair an international conference in Bonn on Monday designed to seek international commitments to continue to support Afghanistan long after 2014, when the country, after more than three decades of war, will continue to be an economic basket case. A World Bank report last week projected Afghanistan's fiscal deficit by 2021-22 at 25% of the country's GDP.
"Even assuming ambitious targets for robust growth in domestic revenue are met â€¦ there will be an unmanageable fiscal gap," the World Bank report said.
An agreement on how to fill the current ANSF financing gap will not be attempted until the Nato summit in Chicago this summer. Meanwhile, US officials have made it clear that other countries will have to come up with more than the $1bn they are currently projected to contribute to the ANSF and are warning the Afghan government that it may have to make do with a significantly smaller force over the long term than had originally been planned.
One senior US official said: "I don't think anybody would see the 352,000 figure as a permanent figure. It is the Afghan surge. I'm not aware of any plans not to reach it [next year], but it would be an open question how long it could be held at that level."
For Afghan officials, the question mark over continued financing brings back uncomfortable memories of 1989, when the Soviet army withdrew and western support for Afghanistan vanished, leaving the country to slide into prolonged civil war.
Abdul Rahim Wardak, the Afghan defence minister, said a dramatic shortfall in international support could lead to a return to chaos.
"Afghanistan has always been a proxy battleground in the past so if we are left alone and isolated as we were left in 1989, then the risk [of a repeat] is there, definitely," Wardak said in an interview in Kabul. "If Afghanistan is left by itself, it can become an ungoverned area or a failed state â€¦ It can become once again a place terrorists can hide they can take shelter, they can train and they can plan and they can operate from."
Wardak has been privately criticised by western officials for demanding tanks and fighter jets for the Afghan army, with limited application for the sort of counter-insurgency it is currently involved in, but he argued such heavy equipment is necessary psychologically, to send a message to the Afghan people and the country's enemies alike.
"My main purpose is that it will bring up the level of confidence of the Afghan people. They are a society which is used to seeing a lot of that stuff, and with anything less than that, they are always doubtful," the defence minister said. "So aircraft and tanks and heavy stuff will no only bring up the confidence of the people. And it will send a really strong message to our enemies that the odds [against them] are much higher."
Diplomats in Kabul said they saw the $3bn US figure as an opening offer in what it is likely to be a protracted negotiation leading up to the Nato summit in Chicago.
"The United States is keen to lessen the burden on themselves, there is less money around in general and the Americans won't commit to multi-year funding. That is going to mean a negotiation with the Afghans about the size of their army, and a negotiation among the allies on who is prepared to do what," a western diplomat in Kabul said.
In London, an official from the Department for International Development pointed out that the US and its allies were currently spending more than $100bn a year on the war, so full support of the ANSF would be a bargain, in relative terms.
"In the scheme of what is spent on international security at present, it is paltry. But the track record of the international community in providing long-term financing is not great," the official said. "If the international community can find the political will for many multiples of that [needed] figure now, it should be able to find the political will now â€¦ But failure to address this will lead straight back to conflict."
Afghanistan faces $4bn defence funding shortfall | World news | guardian.co.uk
US fighting on wrong side of border: Karzai
US fighting on wrong side of border: Karzai | The Nation gives news details
WASHINGTON â€“ Afghan President Hamid Karzai has maintained that the United States is fighting war on terror â€˜on wrong side of the borderâ€™.
In an interview with American newspaper The Daily Beast published on Saturday, Hamid Karzai said â€œThey [the Americans] were not happy with the way I stood up for certain issues in Afghanistan such as [NATO-caused] civilian casualties, night raids, and relations with Pakistan.â€ On Pakistan, Karzai said he believes the Americans are fighting on the wrong side of the border. â€œThe war on terror in my view [should not have been fought] in Afghanistan, in Afghan villages and homes,â€ he added. â€œBut in the [Pakistani] sanctuaries, and the training, motivational and financial grounds that [the Taliban] have there. And the US did not go there for 10 years. We know where the troubles were coming from but they [the Americans] did nothing about it.â€
He is also miffed that the US has been talking to the Taliban behind his back over the setting up of a Taliban representative office in the Gulf state of Qatar, even after Washington insists that the peace process must be Afghan led and Afghan owned. â€œ[Itâ€™s] definitely not [Afghan led,â€] he said.
â€œThatâ€™s the problem. We have told the Americans that.â€ Even so, he said he will support the Qatar option for talks. â€œWe will go along with it for the return of peace to Afghanistan as soon as possible.â€
He also said that he â€˜welcomedâ€™ the statement by US Vice President Joe Biden that the Taliban â€˜are not the enemy per seâ€™. â€œWe hope that [statement] will end all the reasons and excuses for the causing of casualties and harm to the Afghan people.â€ Karzai said he and his government will maintain their own negotiating track with the Taliban. â€œWe have contacts with our fellow countrymen, the Taliban,â€ he said. â€œIt will continue.â€ He added that he believes that the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is alive and is most probably living in Pakistan, though he admits he does not have any direct contact with Omar. â€œIf I did [have contact] Iâ€™d call him right now and say: â€˜Letâ€™s talk, Afghan to Afghanâ€™.â€ He also said he believed that most Taliban are interested in peace despite their propaganda statements insisting that no negotiations are possible until all foreign forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan.
â€œI think a great many of them are interested in peace,â€ he said. â€œAt least those who are Afghans and have families in Afghanistan.â€ He added that thereâ€™s another category of insurgent â€œwho is in the pay of this or that intelligence agency,â€ perhaps a reference to the Haqqani Network, which is close to Pakistanâ€™s Inter-Services Intelligence.
â€œOf course, they do not want peace. But the majority [of the Taliban] do.â€
He believes Pakistan could squeeze the Taliban into negotiating seriously if it wanted. â€œ[Pakistan] can and should [squeeze the Taliban] including Mullah Omar,â€ he said. â€œPakistan does have a major role to play with regard to those Taliban whom it accommodates in its own territory. The Pakistani connection to the Taliban is old and real. It is not a fantasy.â€
Karzai believes that Pakistan unfortunately does not have what he calls â€œan independent policy toward Afghanistan.â€ â€œItâ€™s as if Pakistanâ€™s policy toward Afghanistan is driven by [the quality of its] relations, either good or bad, with India or the US,â€ he said. With Pakistan-US relations at an all-time nadir right now, Pakistan is not about to be helpful in the peace process, at least according to Karzaiâ€™s calculation.
US fighting on wrong side of border: Karzai | The Nation gives news details
It seems India is also fighting on the wrong side of border to sort out militancy in Kashmir and other parts of J&k. That way Karzai is right. I really wonder, one day Afghanistan and India may decide to fight together in the correct side of the border and eliminiate the cross border terrorism.
West to pay Afghan military $4 bn a year: Karzai
West to pay Afghan military $4 bn a year
The West will subsidise Afghan security forces by more than $4 billion a year after US-led troops leave in 2014, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday, implicitly accepting a cut in the planned size of his military.
Western officials told AFP that no final agreements had been reached on funding or on the size of Afghanistan's security forces after combat troops in NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force withdraw.
But Karzai told a graduation ceremony at a military academy in Kabul: "It's set that post 2014, for the next 10 years until 2024, the international community, with the US in the lead and followed by Europe and other countries, will pay Afghanistan security forces $4.1 billion annually."
It would cover both the army and "other armed forces", he said, adding: "We agree and thank them."
Karzai's Western allies in the war against Taliban insurgents want to avoid the country descending into civil war after they leave.
But while NATO officials have long projected future Afghan forces at 352,000 men, the United States recently circulated a proposal for a total strength of 230,000, and Western officials say the $4.1 billion cost is based on that figure.
It is a fraction of current Western spending on the war. The 10-year conflict has cost the United States, alone, more than $444 billion.
But Afghan defence officials have expressed concerns over whether security forces 230,000 strong would be adequate.
The defence minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, reportedly warned that if it was not based on "realities on the ground" it could be a "disaster", "putting at risk all that we have accomplished together with so much sacrifice in blood and treasure".
Following Karzai's speech, a Western official stressed that the numbers were part of a model being discussed in the run-up to the NATO summit in Chicago in May, nothing had been decided and "everything is conditions based".
"This is part of an ongoing discussion between coalition planners and our Afghan allies and will continue in Chicago and beyond," he said, adding that under the concept Kabul would contribute $500 million to the $4.1 billion.
"The number of Afghan forces will basically come to a peak later this year" and should then reduce, he said.
"In the best of all worlds in the out years the insurgency will go down and as the insurgency goes down then fewer Afghan forces will be needed."
But a diplomat from another coalition country said the cut in numbers could "create a monster", alleging that the US plan was driven by cost-cutting considerations rather than military effectiveness.
Even so, some coalition members were as yet unwilling to pay their projected share of the money, he added.
Kanechka Sorkhabi, a researcher at the Franco-Afghan Research Initiative for Central Asia, said the proposal was worrying as it was part of a reduction in aid at all levels, "without thinking about a way out of the crisis".
He added: "It's not always quantity that counts but also quality.
"In terms of operational capacity, the Afghan forces are experienced given the recent past. They know how to fight and take positions. But they are not a conventional army. You don't build up a conventional army in five to six years."
Questions remain over the funding deal, said Karzai, with Kabul wanting to be able to spend the money on requirements other than salaries, such as weapons purchases.
"Afghanistan will be able to pay the salaries itself one day... but Afghanistan needs radar, air defence systems, warplanes, transport planes, helicopters and other equipment that improves the defence system," he said.
"If NATO or America will not give us planes, will they prevent us using this money to buy planes for our air force from other countries? If we were to buy planes from India or Russia or Iran or Pakistan or Ukraine, will our (forces') salaries still be paid from the NATO money?"
Asked about such putative purchases, another Western official said that NATO was "not thinking along those lines at all. We're heading for a deadlock."
Kabul and Washington have a frequently strained relationship, and are currently negotiating a long-term strategic partnership agreement to establish their relationship after 2014.
They are also in continuing talks over a memorandum of understanding on special operations, a US embassy spokesman said.
Karzai has long objected to night raids, which are unpopular among ordinary Afghans but which coalition military commanders argue are among their most effective tactics against the Taliban.
Afghans still have a long way to come into 21st century mentally. It'd take them sometime before they're able to trust non-Muslims as people rather than government to government basis.
For that to happen they need to be kept away from the clutches of the pakis.
At Least Six Killed in Kabul Attack - WSJ.com
KABULâ€”Taliban insurgents early Wednesday attacked a fortified compound that houses thousands of Westerners in Kabul, killing at least six people only hours after President Barack Obama declared a "new chapter" for the country during a surprise visit to Afghanistan.
Using mortars, machine guns, hand grenades, suicide vests and a car bomb, at least four insurgents stormed the main gate of the compound on the outskirts of Kabul, according to Afghan and Western officials.
At least six people, including one foreign guard at the compound and an Afghan student, were killed during the attack, according to Afghan police...
Taliban love to rub it rough on the Americans.
India grants 55 buses to Afghan army in Herat province.
By Sajad - Sat May 05, 1:10 pm
According to local authorities in western Herat province, the government of India in a bid to assist the Afghan national security forces on Friday granted 55 passenger buses for 207 Zafar Afghan National Army commandment in this province.
A spokesman for the for 207 Zafar Afghan National Army commandment Najeebullah Najeebi said the government of India granted 55 TATA passenger buses and each of the vehicle has the capability of transporting 26 officers.
He also said the buses will be used to transport Afghan army officers and will help to resolve the transportation issues of the Afghan soldiers in this province.
India is the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan. Indians are working in various construction projects, as part of Indiaâ€™s rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan.
The chief diplomats of India and Afghanistan last week inaugurated a new council aimed at deepening their strategic ties. India plays a key role in supporting Afghanistanâ€™s development and reconstruction, and is also hoping to help support the countryâ€™s long-term stability.
Afghanistan during the India-Afghanistan Partnership Council also sought Indiaâ€™s assistance in equipping its security forces, indicating increased security cooperation between the two countries in the run-up to the withdrawal of international forces from the violence-torn country.
India grants 55 buses to Afghan army in Herat province - KHAAMA PRESS | Afghan Online Newspaper
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