Afghanistan & Pakistan
Afghanistan & Pakistan
- Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program (IIPDigital)
- New Silk Road Initiative Will Open Markets, Connect Countries
- Fact Sheet: New Silk Road Ministerial
- The United States' "New Silk Road" Strategy
- State.gov: Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
- The U.S.-Afghanistan Security & Defense Cooperation Agreement
- White House Facts on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan
Afghanistan & Pakistan News
22 January 2015 State's Biswal on New Silk Road Post-2014 Remarks by Nisha Desai Biswal, U.S. State Depatment Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
13 January 2015 Remarks at the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Ministerial
12 January 2015 Senior Officials on Kerry’s Meetings in Islamabad, Pakistan
Afghanistan & Pakistan News - 2014
28 December 2014 President Obama on End of Combat Mission in Afghanistan "Today's ceremony in Kabul marks a milestone for our country. For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."
18 December 2014 U.S. Stands with Pakistanis, Afghans Against Taliban (via IIPDigital)
16 December 2014 Obama: Afghan Combat Mission Ends, but Commitment Endures (via IIPDigital)
09 December 2014 Obama's Videoconference with Afghan President Ghani The President commended President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah on the timely ratification of the Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement by an overwhelming majority in the Afghan Parliament, and congratulated the two leaders for their recent successful ministerial conferences in Brussels and London
04 December 2014 Secretary Kerry's Remarks at the London Conference on Afghanistan "And we are committed to ensuring that Afghanistan can never again be used as a safe haven from which terrorists can threaten the international community. We know that the most effective way to advance this objective is to support Afghanistan’s political unity and its security."
• At London Conference, Kerry Praises Afghanistan’s Progress (via IIPDigital
02 December 2014 DoD's Kirby Confident Afghans Can Take Full Security Control Next Month With less than a month to go before the U.S-led NATO combat mission ends in Afghanistan, a senior Defense Department official said today Afghan security forces will be ready to take over the job of securing their country come January first.
29 November 2014 White House on Afghanistan's Approval of Security Agreements On Thursday, the Bilateral Security Agreement and the NATO Status of Forces Agreement were both approved by an overwhelming majority vote in the Afghan Parliament. The timely approval of these agreements is a great credit to the newly formed government of national unity and follows a historic Afghan election that ushered in the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the nation’s history.
06 November 2014 U.S. General Praises Afghan Government, Security Forces In a videoconference, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Joe
Anderson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since January, briefed
reporters about the security situation in Afghanistan, the status of
the U.S. troop drawdown, and the achievements of Afghan forces during
the past year.
• NATO Chief to Afghans: 'You Will Not Stand Alone'
14 October 2014 State's Feldman on Pakistan at the Atlantic Council
30 September 2014 Kerry on Signing of Security, NATO Agreements on Afghanistan "Our job now is to support Afghanistan for the Afghans. As envisioned in the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement, the Bilateral Security Agreement will allow the United States to continue to train, advise, and assist Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), so that terrorists can never again threaten the world from Afghan soil."
30 September 2014 Obama, Military Hail Signing of U.S.-Afghan Agreement Newly sworn-in Afghan President
Ashraf Ghani today signed the bilateral security agreement between his
government and the United States, as well as a status of forces
agreement with NATO.
• State Dept. Background Briefing on the U.S.-Afghanistan Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement
29 September 2014 Kerry on New Leadership in Afghanistan (via IIPDigital)
24 September 2014 State Department Briefing on Afghanistan
21 September 2014 State Dept. on Outcome of the Afghan Elections "We congratulate President-elect Dr. Ashraf Ghani. We look forward to a close partnership with Dr. Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as they form and work together in the Government of National Unity. Most importantly, we congratulate the people of Afghanistan. We recognize the millions of Afghan men and women who courageously went to the polls to vote on April 5 and again on June 14, defying Taliban threats to exercise their right to vote and to take their part in advancing democracy in Afghanistan."
04 September 2014 FACT SHEET: Wales Summit – NATO’s Changing Role in Afghanistan At the Wales Summit, NATO Allies and partners reaffirmed their intent to conduct a non-combat train, advise, and assist mission in Afghanistan beyond 2014, known as Resolute Support, contingent upon the Afghans signing a Bilateral Security Agreement and a status of forces agreement with NATO.
04 September 2014 NATO Wales Summit Declaration
08 August 2014 Afghan Presidential Candidates Agree to End Deadlock Rival Afghan presidential candidates have agreed to end their election dispute and begin working toward a national unity government. After holding a second day of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Kabul, the candidates signed an agreement saying that they would cooperate on forming a national unity government after the audit is complete.
01 August 2014 Secretary Kerry on Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program (via IIPDigital)
30 July 2014 Kerry: Afghans Want and Deserve a Better Future Secretary Kerry: "Again and again, through all my visits to your country, I’ve been struck by one profound fact: Afghans want and deserve a better future."
22 July 2014 State’s Dobbins on Afghanistan, Election Progress
11 July 2014 Kerry Seeks Solution to Afghan Vote Dispute (via IIPDigital)
08 July 2014 State's Dobbins Interview With BBC World
07 July 2014 State Dept. on Preliminary Afghan Election Results "We note that the United Nations, invited by President Karzai and both candidates to facilitate the process, has proposed a series of additional audits of suspect ballots, and that other measures have been under discussion. ... A full and thorough review of all reasonable allegations of irregularities is essential to ensure that the Afghan people have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and that the new Afghan President is broadly accepted inside and outside Afghanistan."
30 June 2014 ISAF's Gender Adviser Mentors Afghan Female Counterparts Croatian Brigadier General Gordana Garasic, who arrived in Kabul in April, is spearheading efforts to assist the Afghan military and police in increasing the number of females serving to 10 percent over the next decade.
26 June 2014 Foreign Ministers Finalize Plans for NATO Mission in Afghanistan NATO foreign ministers and their counterparts from International
Security Assistance Force partner nations met in Brussels to review progress in the ISAF mission, take stock of the ongoing
election process and firm up operational plans for the launch of a
new NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security
forces after 2014.
• Afghanistan Transition Tops 2014 NATO Summit Agenda
04 June 2014 We Need More Visas for Afghan Allies, Kerry Says The way a country winds down a war in a faraway place and stands with those who risked their own safety to help in the fight sends a message to the world that is not soon forgotten.
31 May 2014 Obama on Release of U.S. Soldier from Captivity in Afghanistan "Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years. On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal. ... For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier's return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Amir of Qatar. The Amir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries."
27 May 2014 White House Facts on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan "Today’s announcement by President Obama continues this strategy by responsibly drawing down the U.S. military presence to end our combat mission and giving the Afghan people the opportunity to succeed as they stand on their own."
29 April 2014 Statement by Secretary of Defense Hagel on British Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan (via DoD.gov) "On behalf of the Department of Defense, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the five British service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan on Saturday. Americans deeply appreciate the service and sacrifices of the British armed forces, which have fought side-by-side with American service members and other coalition partners over the past twelve years."
09 April 2014 U.S.-Pakistan Economic and Finance Working Group (via State.gov) Pakistan Federal Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar met with Deputy Secretary William J. Burns and Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine Novelli today to discuss a range of strategic and economic issues.... The Economic and Finance Working Group is one of five working groups under the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, and provides a forum to build bilateral economic ties and advance Pakistan’s long-term economic growth and stability.
05 April 2014 Secretary Kerry on Afghanistan Elections "Today’s vote demonstrates how committed the Afghan people are to
protecting and advancing their democracy. The fierce determination of
the millions of voters undeterred by violence and threats of violence
has been remarkable. Now, we need to give the Afghan electoral bodies the time they need
to do their work in processing the outcome of these elections."
• President Obama on Elections in Afghanistan (IIPDigital)
02 April 2014 Secretary Kerry on Upcoming Afghan Elections "This is a pivotal moment after more than a decade of sacrifice and struggle. When millions of Afghan men and women go to the polls on April 5 to choose a new President, it could mark Afghanistan’s first democratic transition of power, and we all have a stake in seeing that milestone achieved."
31 March 2014 State Dept. on Excess Defense Articles from Afghanistan "Military equipment that has been determined to be excess can be made available through the worldwide excess defense articles (EDA) program, which is open to all eligible countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. A number of countries including Pakistan routinely request EDA through our worldwide EDA program."
05 February 2014 U.S. Counternarcotics Operations in Afghanistan Testimony by William R. Brownfield Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Prepared Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Sub-Committee on tbe Middle East and North Africa
29 January 2014 State Dept. on U.S. Views on Pakistan Nuclear Security "The United States is confident that Pakistan is well aware of its responsibilities with respect to nuclear security and has secured its nuclear arsenal accordingly." And recently: "Secretary Kerry expressed confidence in Pakistan’s commitment and dedication to nuclear security and appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts to improve its strategic trade controls."
27 January 2014 Joint Statement from U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistan Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, accompanied by a high-level delegation, met in Washington for the Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. The first Ministerial since the revitalized Strategic Dialogue was announced during Secretary Kerry’s August 2013 visit to Pakistan.
16 January 2014 U.S. Focusing on 'Progress' in Afghan Counternarcotics Efforts Despite the “tough realities” of narcotics production in Afghanistan, a country that produces over 80 percent of the world’s opium, U.S. officials say they have seen “encouraging progress” in the Afghan government’s counternarcotics ability.
15 January 2014 Future U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs: "Afghan poppy cultivation increased significantly in 2013. While cultivation is only one indicator of counternarcotics progress, it was disappointing news, as was the reported decline in poppy eradication by provincial authorities. ... Together with the United Kingdom, we have helped the Afghan government stand up skilled Afghan interdiction units with specialized intelligence capabilities."
17 December 2013 Ambassador DiCarlo at U.N. Security Council Debate on Afghanistan "Mr. President, we can see evidence of the transformational changes in Afghanistan in the United Nation’s 2013 Human Development Index. Since 2000, Afghanistan’s score in the index has improved by nearly 60 percent, more than any other country. Without losing sight of the remarkable transformation Afghanistan has made in the last twelve years, today I’d like to speak to ongoing security, political and economic transition."
12 December 2013 Agreement Is Afghanistan's Path to Lasting Peace, Official Says The Bilateral Security Agreement — which specifies conditions for continued U.S. security cooperation with Afghanistan after the current NATO mission ends in December 2014 — is Afghanistan’s path to a lasting peace, says James Dobbins, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In remarks submitted for the record to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dobbins said the security agreement, in addition to aiding security and development in Afghanistan, will “send an important signal to the people of Afghanistan, to the Taliban, to our allies and partners, and to the region.
11 December 2013 State's Dobbins on Transition in Afghanistan "Many challenges remain. The Taliban continue to fight. Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world and the drawdown of international military forces will reduce economic growth. Afghans still need to put in place the physical infrastructure and legal framework to encourage long-term sustainable development and attract private investment."
07 December 2013 Hagel Press Availability in Kabul, Afghanistan "I just finished a meeting with the Afghan minister of defense and the deputy minister of the interior and the commanding general of the ANA, Afghan National Army. ... I also wanted to make sure they understood that I had heard from General Dunford and some others that there was some question about whether the United States was going to continue to support the armed forces here, the Afghan armed forces in some way as the result of a punishment of the BSA not being signed right away or some threat or lack of support. That's not true. We are continuing our support in every program in every way just as we have committed to do. We want the Afghans to succeed. We want their army to succeed. We want their institutions to succeed."
05 December 2013 Interview of Ambassador Dobbins, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, with AP's Patrick Quinn "My trip was fairly routine. In my position I try to get here every month or two. The last time I was here was with Secretary Kerry in mid-October so it was time for another visit. I did go first to Islamabad. I spent a day there. Then I came here, arrived yesterday morning and will leave this evening. I had contacts with a number of people across sort of the political leader spectrum, if you will, to try to get a sense of where the country stands and among those I did have an opportunity this morning to meet with President Karzai. A major theme of my discussions, both in Islamabad and here is the issue of reconciliation and the peace process. "
15 November 2013 Women Critical to Afghanistan’s Success, Kerry Says The full participation of women in Afghan society — particularly through elections in 2014 — is critical to the success of the country, says Secretary of State John Kerry.
28 October 2013 "New Silk Road" Vision Offers Afghanistan a Brighter Future As the year 2014 brings important security, political and economic
transitions to Afghanistan, the country is already becoming more
economically connected to its neighbors, and advancements in media and
communications are part of the “substantial progress” that offers
reasons for optimism, a top State Department official says.
• State's Tracy: The United States and the New Silk Road (via State.gov)
23 October 2013 Hagel, NATO Defense Ministers Gather at
"Inflection Point" NATO defense ministers are meeting this week as the
alliance faces what many here call an inflection point: how to preserve
hard-earned NATO operational capabilities while winding down operations in
Afghanistan over the coming months.
• Hagel’s Meeting with Defense Minister of Afghanistan (via IIPDigital)
17 October 2013 Secretary Kerry's interview with NPR (via NPR.org) In an interview with National Public Radio, Secretary of State John Kerry discussed strategy in Syria and Afghanistan.
15 October 2013 Kerry Says U.S. Seeks Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan Secretary of State John Kerry says he went to Afghanistan to conduct long-range talks with President Hamid Karzai over a security agreement that will support the nation after the NATO-led security mission ends in 2014 and that will create an enduring partnership that respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty and the safety of the Afghan people.
09 October 2013 U.S. Envoy at OSCE on Afghanistan Issues After 2014 " In Afghanistan, three defining transitions are currently underway: a political transition, including presidential elections next April, a major security transition with the drawdown of ISAF forces, and an economic transition that could see Afghanistan serve as the bridge between the markets of South and Central Asia. 2014 will be a critical year in all three transitions. An Afghanistan that successfully navigates these transitions has the potential to end the decades-long conflict among its people and to contribute significantly to the entire OSCE region."
26 September 2013 Negotiations Continue to Chart Future U.S.-Afghan Partnership The commander of U.S. Central Command expressed confidence that the bilateral security agreement being negotiated between the United States and Afghanistan will ensure the strong partnership forged over the past 12 years continues to grow beyond 2014.
17 September 2013 Ambassador Dobbins on U.S. Policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan
03 August 2013 State Dept. on Suicide Attack Near Indian Consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan (State Dept. link)
01 August 2013 Secretary Kerry Visits Pakistani Energy Plant
01 August 2013 Pakistan, U.S. Resume Strategic Talks
31 July 2013 State Dept. Officials on Kerry’s Trip to Pakistan
07 June 2013 Hagel Describes Post-ISAF Afghanistan Mission The United States will be the largest single contributor to the follow-on NATO operation that will replace the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan in 2015 and beyond, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at NATO headquarters.
24 May 2013 First Afghan Female Pilot Graduates from Training Afghan Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Niloofar Rhmani made history May 14 when she became the first Afghan woman to complete undergraduate pilot training and earn the status of pilot. The new aviator explained that growing up in Afghanistan as a woman and having dreams of being a pilot came with many challenges, but it was worth all of the sacrifices.
12 May 2013 President Obama on Elections in Pakistan
12 May 2013 Secretary Kerry on Pakistan Elections
24 April 2013 Kerry After Meeting with Afghan President, Pakistani General “All of us agreed we are committed to try to find stability and peace” in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the region itself, says Secretary of State John Kerry after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
12 April 2013 U.S. Supports Justice Reform in Afghanistan, South Sudan The United States is providing the International Development Law Organization with $59 million to reform the Afghan justice sector and $2.5 million to upgrade the justice sector of South Sudan, the newest country in Africa. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield provided the funding figures when he participated in a conference in Washington.
26 March 2013 Kerry, Karzai on "Same Page" Regarding Taliban Contacts Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and Afghanistan are “on the same page” regarding an Afghan-led peace process involving contacts with the Taliban. Karzai said he is planning to travel to Qatar soon for talks with the emir of Qatar about the Taliban opening an office there for the purpose of negotiations. “We want to encourage those who come to Qatar on behalf of the Taliban to begin to talk with the Afghan Peace Council as soon as possible,” he said.
25 March 2013 Kerry and Afghan President Karzai in Kabul
19 March 2013 U.S. Senator Cites Unmistakable Signs of Progress in Afghanistan Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin says it is important for the United States and its allies to be realistic about the challenges in Afghanistan, but it’s also important to recognize the advances that have been made. The civil society the Afghan security forces are defending is better off today than when operations began in late 2001, Levin said.
13 March 2013 U.S. Embassy in Kabul and Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sign Agreement To Support Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Programs in Afghanistan (via U.S. Embassy Kabul) Ambassador Stephen G. McFarland, Coordinating Director for Rule of Law and Law Enforcement at Embassy Kabul, and Afghan Foreign Deputy Minister Jawid Ludin signed agreements allocating $249 million for joint programs in counternarcotics, rule of law, and law enforcement. The funds will support key programs that aim to achieve shared goals toward better governance in improving the administration of justice and enhanced rule of law, continuing the development of a safe, secure, and humane corrections system; and increasing security through curtailment of the narcotics trade.
13 March 2013 State's Blake on New Silk Road, Asian Economic Integration Remarks by Robert Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, at the Turkic American Convention, Washington, DC.
10 March 2013 Secretary Hagel's Press Briefing in Kabul, Afghanistan
05 March 2013 Afghan Medics Learning at U.S. Military Hospital Even in the midst of conflict, it is important to keep an eye toward the future. To that end, the Craig Joint Theater Hospital here has trained more than 40 Afghan doctors and nurses as part of the Afghan Trauma Mentorship Program.
28 February 2013 Afghan, U.S. Officials Continue Efforts to Improve Trade Senior Afghan and U.S. officials met in Washington to continue their trade dialogue and evaluate progress under the U.S.-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement;
22 February 2013 NATO Secretary-General Pledges New Afghan Mission Post-2014 Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke February 22 to open the session of NATO and non-NATO troop-contributing nations here on the last day of a two-day NATO defense ministers meeting. The International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan will end late in 2014, when Afghan forces will have assumed security responsibility for their nation’s people, he said.
12 February 2013 White House Fact Sheet on Afghanistan In his State of the Union address, the President announced that the United States will withdraw 34,000 American troops from Afghanistan by this time next year, decreasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by half – the next step to responsibly bringing this war to a close.
12 February 2013 Afghanistan Investment Fund to Focus on Social Development The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) to establish the first investment fund in Badakhshan, Afghanistan, for social development projects.
23 January 2013 Better Than Cash Alliance Can Boost Afghanistan's Economy Afghanistan’s decision to join the Better Than Cash Alliance will help address poverty and promote economic growth, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says.
12 January 2013 President Obama on Ending the War in Afghanistan Following his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karza on January 11, President Obama used his weekly address to update the American people on how the United States will end the war in Afghanistan, and how the goal of ensuring that al-Qaida never again uses Afghanistan to launch attacks against America is within reach.
11 January 2013 Obama, Afghanistan's Karzai Reach Key Agreements Afghan national forces will assume the lead for security across all of
Afghanistan during the spring while troops from the United States and
other NATO allies shift their mission to training, advising and
assisting Afghan forces.
• Joint Statement by Presidents Obama, Karzai
08 January 201 Defense Briefing on Afghan President Karzai's Visit "Secretary Panetta will also participate in meetings with President Karzai on Friday at the White House. This visit, of course, provides an opportunity to discuss the ongoing transition to Afghan security lead and our enduring commitment to Afghanistan following completion of transition at the end of 2014."
08 January 2013 Presidents Obama, Karzai to Discuss Afghanistan's Transition Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for talks with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Afghanistan prepares for far-reaching security and political transitions.
07 January 2013 White House on Afghan President Karzai's Visit President Obama will host President Hamid Karzai and his delegation at the White House for bilateral meetings on Friday, January 11.
02 January 2013 Panetta Praises Security Transition Progress in Afghanistan Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lauded Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s announcement that Afghanistan has entered the second-to-last stage of the transition of security responsibility from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force to Afghan security forces.
18 December 2012 Soldiers Supporting Afghan Girls' Education As part of the ongoing effort to help Afghanistan’s female citizens, U.S. soldiers outside Kabul regularly host bazaars for businesswomen. Efforts are now expanding to include the building and renovation of schools where girls can receive a quality education.
12 December 2012 Afghan Civil Society Must Unite to Promote Human Rights Civil society groups must work together if they are to successfully promote human rights and provide a viable alternative to religious extremists in Afghanistan, say three Afghan women’s rights activists who made their case recently before the U.S. Congress and officials at the U.S. Department of State.
12 December 2012 Recent Incidents of Violence Against Women in Afghanistan (State.gov) The United States joins the government of Afghanistan in strongly condemning the murder of Najia Sediqi, who was killed in a drive-by shooting Monday morning. As Acting Director of Provincial Women's Affairs, Najia was one of the many Afghan women who dedicate themselves every single day toward building a brighter future for the people of Afghanistan.
11 December 2012 Afghanistan Advances Toward Full Security Responsibility in 2014 U.S. and coalition forces and their Afghan partners blunted an insurgent offensive during the 2012 summer fighting season and advanced toward the goal of putting the Afghan National Security Forces in full control of security by the end of 2014, a Defense Department report says.
05 October 2012 U.S. and Pakistan Convene Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Working Group The working group discussed means to disrupt the illicit networks that supply the components and financing for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
03 October 2012 Clinton, Afghan FM Launch U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission The United States and Afghanistan have successfully worked together for more than a decade to improve security, strengthen democracy, support civil society and enhance economic opportunity for the Afghan people, and the United States will continue support for Afghanistan as the country works toward lasting peace and stability, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says.
21 September 2012 Clinton and Pakistan's Khar Affirm Common Goals Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar have reiterated the U.S.-Pakistan commitment to stronger relations between the two nations, with Clinton thanking the Pakistani government for its efforts to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities in Pakistan.
12 September 2012 Obama's Call with Afghan President Karzai President Obama called President Karzai earlier today as part of their regular consultations as transition continues in Afghanistan.
06 September 2012 Afghan Forces Lead Security for 75 Percent of the Population Afghan national forces are taking the lead in providing security in districts that cover 75 percent of the population in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General James Terry says.
28 August 2012 General Allen on Building Peace in Afghanistan
23 August 2012 Commander General John Allen: Closer Ties With Partners May Reduce Insider Attack Threat The closer their relationship is with their Afghan security force partners, the safer coalition forces are from “insider attacks,” the commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said today.
14 August 2012 Panetta, General Dempsey on Afghanistan, Middle East
07 July 2012 State Dept Fact sheet : Major Non-NATO Ally Status for Afghanistan On May 2, 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As part of this agreement, the United States pledged to designate Afghanistan a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA). Following the entry into force of the Strategic Partnership Agreement on July 4, President Obama signed the MNNA designation for Afghanistan on July 6. Afghanistan is the first country to be designated an MNNA since 2004.
28 June 2012 U.S. Will Support Afghanistan After 2014 Exit of Foreign Troops The United States will remain a staunch supporter of Afghanistan after 2014, when most foreign troops are scheduled to leave and the government in Kabul assumes full responsibility for security, according to U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice.
21 May 2102 NATO Allies: Afghan Forces Will Take Security Control in 2013 President Obama and leaders of the United States’ NATO allies have
formally agreed to transfer security responsibility across Afghanistan
to Afghan forces in 2013, a significant step toward transition as U.S.
and international forces prepare to end their combat mission in the
country in 2014.
• White House Fact Sheet on NATO and Afghanistan After 2014
• NATO Summit Declaration on Afghanistan
13 May 2012 Statement by President Obama on the Afghan Transition (Whitehouse.gov)
10 May 2012 NATO Summit to Reaffirm Afghan Transition Plan The May 20–21 NATO Summit in Chicago will focus on the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan, including its shift from a combat role to a supporting role for Afghan security forces, as well as defense capabilities and partnerships among member nations to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.
01 May 2012 U.S. Report Cites Progress in Afghan Security Forces Progress is being made in transitioning control of security in Afghanistan to Afghan national security forces, as progress has also been made with a strategic partnership agreement between U.S. and Afghan leaders, report senior U.S. officials.
01 May 2012 Key Facts on U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement In May 2010, in Washington, DC, President Obama and President Karzai
committed the two countries to negotiate and conclude a strategic
partnership that would provide a framework for our future relationship.
On May 1, 2012, President Obama and President Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America.
• Background Briefing on U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement
18 April 2012 Afghan Security Transition Timetable "On Track," Clinton Says The transition of security control of Afghanistan from international forces to the Afghan government is “on track” for 2014, Secretary of State Clinton said, adding that countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had met and reaffirmed their support for the transition and their “enduring commitment to Afghanistan.”
12 April 2012 Afghan Moot Court Competitors Visit U.S. Supreme Court Five law students from Balkh University in Afghanistan climbed the marble steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on the morning of March 29. They were arriving at the grand, neo-classical building for a special visit that followed their impressive showing in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. They are among the young leaders of Afghanistan, two-thirds of whose population is under 25, whose thinking and actions will play a critical role in the future of their country.
21 March 2012 Clinton Says U.S. Committed to Afghan Women's Rights In its support for Afghan reconciliation efforts, the United States will not allow the freedoms Afghan women have gained since the Taliban era to be rescinded, and it will continue to support their advancement and full inclusion in their country and society, said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
14 March 2012 U.S., British Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Afghan Transition President Obama and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed their commitment to an internationally agreed-upon transition plan in Afghanistan that will see Afghan forces take over from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force by the end of 2014.
14 February 2012 U.S. Businesses Look to Help Rebuild Afghanistan Key sectors of Afghanistan’s economy could soon receive a boost from U.S. businesses whose representatives are now visiting Kabul, Afghanistan. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez and representatives from 12 U.S. businesses from the construction, mining, agribusiness and information technology sectors are in Kabul to explore how they can play a role in rebuilding the country, according to the International Trade Administration.
08 February 2012 Summary of Obama’s Meeting on Afghanistan, Pakistan President Obama met today with his national security team as a part of his regular meetings on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The President received an update on our engagement with the Pakistani Government on a range of issues of mutual interest, including efforts to strengthen cooperation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
02 February 2012 Panetta Describes U.S. Military Transition in Afghanistan Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the United States is aiming to draw down combat forces from Afghanistan starting this year and end its combat role by late 2013, with a measured transition throughout 2014 to one of training and advising local security forces.
23 January 2012 Grossman Says Taliban Must Renounce Violence in Afghanistan U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman told reporters that before peace talks can begin toward reconciliation between Afghanistan and the former Taliban regime, the Taliban must first renounce terrorism and end armed conflict.
20 January 2012 Afghan, ISAF Officials Detail Corruption Fight The battle against corruption in Afghanistan is as crucial to the nation’s future as the fight against the insurgency, two leaders at the forefront of that struggle said.
05 December 2011 U.S., Global Partners Pledge Continued Afghanistan Support Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has pledged continued U.S. support for Afghanistan, joining nearly 100 nations in doing so at an international conference in Bonn, Germany, as Afghanistan works toward increasing self-sustainability.
• Secretary Clinton Press Availability on Afghan Conference in Bonn
04 December 2011 Obama and Clinton calls to Pakistani President Zardari President Obama and Secretary Clinton express condolences on the tragic loss of Pakistani soldiers this past week along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
14 November 2011 Remarks at the Jamestown Foundation on the New Silk Road
Assistant Secretary Blake, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs,
Remarks at the Jamestown Foundation on the New Silk Road.
• Next Steps on the Silk Road
02 November 2011 U.S., International Partners Meet to Support Afghanistan Deputy Secretary of State William Burns says a meeting in Istanbul
of Afghan officials, that country’s neighbors, near-neighbors and
international partners was the “first clear, regionwide statement of
support” for Afghanistan’s future stability and prosperity.
• Deputy Secretary Burns at Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan
31 October 2011 Ambassador Rice on Attack on U.N. Office in Afghanistan Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Attack on the UN Office in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province.
27 October 2011 Clinton Says Pakistan Also Will Benefit by Pressuring Insurgents As some U.S. lawmakers expressed concern over the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership to shut down terrorist safe havens, put more pressure on violent extremists to stop their incursions into Afghanistan and aid peace efforts in Afghanistan in the interest of regional stability.
27 October 2011 Secretary Clinton's Opening Remarks Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Opening Remarks Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee .
22 October 2011 Clinton: U.S. Committed to Helping Pakistan Boost Development Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during a two-day visit in Islamabad that the United States is committed to helping Pakistan meet the economic and social development needs of the Pakistani people and to achieving mutual security goals.
20 October 2011 Clinton Backs Afghan Peace Efforts as “Best Hope” for Region The United States remains committed to Afghanistan’s peace efforts with Taliban fighters and sees the process as “the best hope” for the country and its neighbors, says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She expressed strong U.S. support for “an inclusive Afghan peace process that ends the conflict, protects the gains the Afghan people have achieved in the last 10 years, and helps bring greater stability and prosperity to the wider region.”
19 October 2011 Background Briefing: Senior State Department Officials on Afghanistan Briefing by Senior State Department officials on Secretary of State Clinton's unannounced visit to Kabul, Afghanistan.
13 October 2011 U.S. Efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan Are Succeeding, Panetta Says Ten years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, U.S. efforts to weaken al-Qaida are succeeding, says U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. According to Panetta, the United States is at a turning point — not only in its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for its own military as well.
03 October 2011 Establishing Afghanistan as Trade Hub to Improve Regional Economy Establishing Afghanistan as a regional crossroads in a new network of economic and trade connections will allow the country to take ownership of its economic future, providing a more stable financial outlook for Afghans, their neighbors and international partners.
29 September 2011 Remarks by Ambassador Rice at U.N. Debate on Afghanistan Amb. Rice focused her remarks on security, upcoming events that frame the 2014 transition, and the New Silk Road initiative.
29 September 2011 The United States' "New Silk Road" Strategy: What is it? Where is it Headed? Remarks by Robert D. Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs.
26 September 2011 Afghan Troops, Police Make ‘Significant’ Progress Afghan security forces are moving forward and will be able to assume the lead for security in December 2014, said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Caldwell IV, commander of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.
23 September 2011 Clinton Says Building New Silk Road Is Critical for Afghanistan Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says building a web of
economic and transit connections across South and Central Asia with a
central hub in Afghanistan would help the transitioning country to build
a sustainable economy, in turn ensuring a more prosperous future for
the region as a whole.
• Fact Sheet on New Silk Road Ministerial
14 September 2011 Clinton Pledges Vigilance After Attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged continued U.S. vigilance in Afghanistan following a series of attacks in and around the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and she said American civilians who are serving in the Afghan capital will continue their work to improve the lives of Afghan men, women and children.
08 September 2011 Confidence Key to Taliban Reintegration, Commander Says The Afghan-led reintegration program for former Taliban fighters has enrolled nearly 10 percent of the group’s estimated force in the year since the program began, and a commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says more are expected to participate as trust and confidence build between them and Afghan officials, as well as their desire to peacefully return to their homes after years of fighting.
25 August 2011 General Sees Improved Afghan Governance and Security Afghan security forces and government institutions are continuing to strengthen their capacity and earn more confidence from the Afghan people, says a U.S. coalition forces commander in Afghanistan, adding that his team is continuing its efforts to put pressure on insurgents and help Afghan authorities create conditions to foster stability and economic development.
24 August 2011 Special Representative Grossman’s Op-Ed on Success in Afghanistan "Afghanistan's GDP has tripled since 2001. ... Today, more than 8 million children attend school - a third of them girls. Eighty percent of Afghans have access to basic health-care facilities, almost twice as many as in 2005."
18 July 2011 Allen Takes Reins as ISAF Commander Marine Corps General John R. Allen assumed command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan here today.
13 July 2011 U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council Meeting The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council met today at the White House, hosted by Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman, and the White House Council on Women and Girls.
29 June 2011 U.S. Goals in Afghanistan Are Meeting with Success, Obama Says President Obama says the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will be successful if U.S. forces leave behind a country where the Afghan government and people can provide for their own security, and al-Qaida is unable to attack the United States, its allies or its overseas interests.
23 June 2011 The Way Forward in Afghanistan Testimony by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
23 June 2011 Obama Says 10,000 U.S. Troops Leaving Afghanistan in 2011 The United States will withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011, and can achieve its goal of denying al-Qaida and its affiliates a safe haven from which to launch attacks against the United States or its allies, President Obama announced.
22 June 2011 Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in Afghanistan President Obama addressed the nation about the way forward in Afghanistan and his plan to remove 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and a total of 33,000 by next summer.
10 June 2011 Gates Says NATO Security Gains in Afghanistan Can Be Sustained Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the gains made in Afghanistan by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force over the past two years can take root and be sustained over time with proper allied support. “Far too much has been accomplished, at far too great a cost, to let the momentum slip away just as the enemy is on its back foot,” Gates said in a speech to the Security and Defense Agenda conference in Brussels. His remarks came at the end of nearly three days of meetings by the NATO defense ministers.
04 June 2011 Press Briefing by Defense’s Gates, Afghan President Karzai Joint Press Conference with Secretary Gates and President Karzai from Kabul, Afghanistan
27 May 2011 Clinton Says U.S. Will Continue Support for Pakistan Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a brief visit to Islamabad May 27 that the United States will continue to support Pakistan, its elected leaders and its people. “The United States knows that Pakistan’s future is imperatively important for us, but even more so for the people themselves,” Clinton said.
03 May 2011 Pentagon Report Cites Tangible Progress in Afghan Security Afghan national security forces have made “tangible progress” in halting and reversing the momentum of the Taliban insurgency in a number of areas, a new U.S. Defense Department report says.
06 April 2011 At Hearing, U.S. Cites Positive Outlook in Ties to South Asia U.S. officials are offering an encouraging picture of South Asia as a region of democratic governments, strong growth and generally improving ties to the United States.
16 March 2011 U.S., Allied and Afghan Forces on Track for Transition Due to significant security gains in 2010 and early 2011, U.S. and allied forces are on track to begin a security transition in some of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in the coming weeks, putting “Afghan forces in the lead throughout the country by 2014,” says General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
18 February 2011 Secretary Clinton at the Asia Society Secretary Clinton: "Our friend Richard Holbrooke believed a better future is possible for Afghanistan, for Pakistan, and the wider region. ...The United States will be there as a partner to help them achieve that, if that is the path they choose."
17 February 2011 Proposed Changes to Regulation of Women's Shelters In Afghanistan Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs.
Farmer to Farmer: Arghandab Pomegranates
16 November 2011
USDA Agricultural Advisor Gary Soiseth has been working with farmers of Arghandab District, Kandahar Province, to teach them that split pomegranates have value beyond animal feed, and can be sold to a juicing factory in Kabul as a means of recouping profit otherwise thought lost.
Soiseth's work exemplifies USDA's activities throughout Afghanistan: connecting farmers to the market and increasing agricultural output, helping to ensure that agriculture remains a consistent, sustainable livelihood for Afghanistan's farmers.
U.S. Embassy Kabul and USDA produced this YouTube video of Soiseth's work in Arghandab District.
16 December 2010 Statement by the President on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review
12 October 2010 Briefing on US Flood Relief Assistance to Pakistan
07 October 2010 Updated U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
22 September 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan Flooding Disaster The United States Government is providing approximately $345 million to assist with relief and recovery efforts.
20 September 2010 Remarks on Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts By Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator.
15 September 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster The U.S. Government is now providing approximately $268 million to assist with relief and recovery efforts.
13 September 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
04 September 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
01 September 2010 Updated U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster (from the State Department)
30 August 2010 Briefing on Flood Relief Efforts in Pakistan By Dan Feldman, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Carol Chan, Deputy Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
25 August 2010 United States Diverting Funds for More Pakistan Relief
The United States is providing an additional $50 million to help Pakistan cope with the worst monsoon flooding seen there in more than 80 years, says Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
23 August 2010 U.S. Expands Support for Pakistan Flood Relief The United States is continuing to expand assistance and development programs in flood-stricken Pakistan, providing temporary bridges and mobilizing significant civilian and military resources to rescue victims of the flooding and deliver much-needed supplies, U.S. officials say.
23 August 2010 Updated Fact Sheet: US Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster To date, the United States is providing approximately $150 million to support relief efforts in Pakistan.
23 August 2010 Gen. Petraeus Says Progress Made, But Challenges to Continue The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan cited encouraging signs of progress in Afghanistan.
20 August 2010 Pakistan Relief Fund Americans are urged to donate to the newly established Pakistan Relief Fund.
19 August 2010 Pakistani Flood Response Event Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke; the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah; and the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Judith McHale brief at the Asia Society.
17 August 2010 Updated Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster To date the U.S. has provided approximately $90 million to support relief efforts.
14 August 2010 More U.S. Helicopters Arrive in Pakistan To Support Flood Relief Two U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters arrived in Pakistan today as part of the continued U.S. humanitarian assistance to Pakistan in support of flood relief from the monsoon floods.
10 August 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster (from the State Department)
09 August 2010 Press Availability On Relief Workers Killed in Afghanistan By Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
09 August 2010 Statement by the National Security Advisor General James Jones on the U.S. Response to Flooding in Pakistan (White House)
05 August 2010 Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
04 August 2010 Secretary Clinton's Statement on the Flooding in Pakistan
21 July 2010 Secretary Clinton’s Interviews:
• Interview With Maria Usman of CBS Islamabad
• Interview With Greta Van Susteren of Fox News Islamabad
• Interview with NBC Andrea Mitchell Islamabad
12 May 2010 Joint Statement from the President and President Karzai of Afghanistan U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accompanied by senior-level delegations, convened wide-ranging discussions aimed at deepening cooperation on the shared and mutual priorities of the United States and Afghanistan. These discussions on governance, security, economic and social development, and regional issues built on past sessions of the United States – Afghanistan Strategic Dialogue.
17 March 2010 McChrystal Reports on Progress in Afghanistan The commander of NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan said today he is pleased with the progress in the country so far while acknowledging that much more needs to be done. Army General Stanley McChrystal said military operations in Helmand province have been promising, and that efforts to build the Afghan government in the province are the key to long-term success. McChrystal and Ambassador Mark Sedwill, the senior NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, spoke to Pentagon reporters from Kabul.
22 February 2010 Gates, Mullen Regret Civilian Casualties Expressing deep regret over civilian casualties resulting from a NATO air strike yesterday, Pentagon civilian and military leaders said today they support the strategy that puts as much emphasis on protecting the Afghan population as capturing or killing insurgents.
28 January 2010 Secretary Clinton's Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN
28 January 2010 State Department Daily Press Briefing Includes announcement of appointments of Staffan de Mistura as new UN representative for Afghanistan and Ambassador Sedwill as NATO special representative for international coordination for Afghanistan (2nd paragraph of transcript).
26 January 2010 U.S., U.K. Share History, Values in Afghanistan “The United States has no closer ally than the United Kingdom,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here yesterday. The two nations have a special relationship based on history, shared values and a shared future, he said during a speech before the House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group on Transatlantic and International Security.
07 December 2009 Remarks by Paul Jones Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the American Enterprise Institute Jones discusses the civilian aspects of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
02 December 2009 Obama Strategy Offers Best Chance for Success, Gates Says President Barack Obama’s decision on the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy offers the best possibility to decisively change the momentum in Afghanistan and fundamentally alter the strategic equation in Pakistan and Central Asia, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate Armed Service Committee.
01 December 2009 The New Way Forward - Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Watch the President's Address (links to White House)
24 November 2009 Obama Provides Glimpse of Afghanistan Strategy
18 November 2009 Briefing by Secretary Clinton En Route Kabul, Afghanistan
15 November 2009 Future U.S.-Afghan Relations Secretary Clinton Interview With George Stephanopoulos of ABC's This Week.
30 October 2009 Secretary Clinton Concludes 3-Day Visit to Pakistan
30 October 2009 Clinton Calls for Strengthened Partnership with Pakistan The United States seeks to be a partner with Pakistan in economic development and trade, education, health care, energy development and regional security, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says. Clinton, who wrapped up a three-day visit to Pakistan October 30, told business leaders at a roundtable discussion in Lahore that the United States is proud and pleased to be Pakistan’s largest trading partner and its largest foreign investor. “We have seen the opportunities for investment and growth,” she added.
29 October 2009 Clinton Announces Millions in Assistance for Pakistani People As part of her first visit to Pakistan as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced millions of dollars in U.S. assistance to benefit a variety of the country’s programs and institutions, ranging from humanitarian, education and security assistance to microloans and a cellular-phone social network.
29 October 2009 Secretary Clinton's Travel to the Middle East
28 October 2009 United States Stands with Pakistan Against Violent Extremism
28 October 2009 U.S. Pledges $56 Million for Assistance to Displaced Pakistanis Funds to support Government of Pakistan’s humanitarian relief efforts.
28 October 2009 Note on U.S. Aid for Pakistan Law Enforcement, Border Security U.S. provides $103.5 million in support for law enforcement programs.
26 October 2009 United States to Triple Number of Civilian Experts in Afghanistan The Obama administration has nearly doubled the number of U.S. civilian experts working in Afghanistan since assuming office and plans to bring the number up to 974 by the end of 2009, according to Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew.
23 October 2009 NATO Looks at Boosting Afghanistan Support, Defense’s Gates Says Defense Secretary Robert Gates said NATO allies are considering sending more military forces and civilian aid to Afghanistan as President Obama also is considering what course the United States will take there. Gates attended an informal meeting of NATO defense ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia, October 22–23, and Afghanistan was a featured topic on the ministers’ agenda.
20 October 2009 Obama Lauds Afghan President’s Participation in Runoff Vote Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s agreement to participate in a runoff vote for his country’s presidential election is "an important step forward" toward ensuring a credible electoral process and it strengthens Afghanistan’s democracy, President Obama says. Obama issued a statement October 20 welcoming Karzai’s decision, which came after the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan determined that the incumbent president had received a majority of votes from the August 20 election, but at 49.67 percent had come just short of the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff vote. The second round voting has been scheduled for November 7.
19 October 2009 Secretary Clinton Remarks to the Press Comments on Afghanistan and Iraq.
19 October 2009 Strategy Review Will Continue to Move Forward, Gates Says> Questions about the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s national elections are a complicating factor, but President Barack Obama’s strategic review doesn’t hinge on the outcome, and ongoing military operations aren’t being affected, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today. The Afghan election issue has “complicated the situation for us,” Gates said, but he said he doesn’t expect it to delay Obama’s decision on the larger issue of charting the way forward in Afghanistan.
07 October 2009 Obama Examining a Range of Strategies for Afghanistan President Obama and his national security team are examining a range of strategies for achieving long-term security in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a recent televised interview.
02 October 2009 In Building Schools for Girls, Mountaineer Honors Sister's Memory Mountain climber turned humanitarian Greg Mortenson says his work of the past decade building schools in remote villages across Pakistan and Afghanistan has taught him one overriding lesson: Westerners can "drop bombs, build roads or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated, a society won’t change."
01 October 2009 Statement on Afghan Legal Professionals Who Will Study in U.S. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan are sponsoring three Afghan legal professionals to complete Master of Laws degrees at Harvard University and Washington and Lee University this fall. Georgetown University also played a role, waiving tuition for one of the students to attend their pre-LL.M. preparatory course last summer.
01 October 2009 Obama Facing Critical Decisions in Afghanistan, Pakistan President Obama met with his national security team in the White House Situation Room on September 30 to evaluate the progress that has been made and the challenges that lie ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Among the challenges are recent U.S. public-opinion polling numbers that show declining support for continued U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
29 September 2009 Obama, Rasmussen Consult on Afghanistan Strategy President Obama and new NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen agreed at a White House meeting that the important thing to do in Afghanistan is first determine the best strategic approach, and then develop the resources to support it. "The first thing is not numbers. It is to find and fine-tune the right approach to implement the strategy already laid down, and all NATO allies are right now looking at [Army General Stanley] McChrystal’s review," said Rasmussen at a brief press conference.
17 September 2009 Statement on Afghanistan Bombing United States strongly condemns attack in Afghanistan.
16 September 2009 Decision on U.S. Troop Levels in Afghanistan Awaits Assessments President Obama says he is not going to decide whether to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan until assessments are completed of the situation in that country after its August presidential and provincial council elections. Speaking with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House, Obama said that along with looking at the situation in the country from a military standpoint, "it’s important that we also do an assessment on the civilian side, the diplomatic side, [and] the development side," as well as "analyze the results of the election" before making new policy decisions.
09 September 2009 Patience Urged as Afghan Fraud Claims Are Investigated The State Department spokesman says allegations of fraud in Afghanistan’s August 20 presidential and provincial council elections need "a rigorous vetting," and he urged Afghan voters and political leaders to show patience as their country’s independent election institutions deal with the fraud complaints.
04 September 2009 Obama Is Evaluating New Afghanistan Assessment Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the nation’s senior military leadership are preparing evaluations of a new assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, and the way ahead, for President Obama’s consideration. At a Pentagon press briefing Gates said any request for additional troops and resources for Afghanistan would follow after discussions with the president’s national security team, which includes military leaders, presidential security advisers, key Cabinet officers and Vice President Biden.
02 September 2009 Special Representative Holbrooke on the Afghanistan Elections Says Holbrooke "We have no candidates and no preference as to whether there is a first-round victory or a runoff. That is for the process to determine. Our advocacy is for a fair process overseen by the Independent Election Commission"
31 August 2009 McChrystal Delivers Assessment to U.S., NATO Leaders The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan has completed his assessment of the situation there and has forwarded it to NATO and U.S. leaders, Defense Department officials said today. Speaking to reporters during a visit to a Lockheed-Martin F-35 plant in Fort Worth, Texas, today, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he has not yet seen Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s assessment, but expects to read it in the next day or two.
24 August 2009 U.S. Military Official Says Afghanistan Still Vulnerable Afghanistan is still vulnerable to the threat of insurgents regaining control of the country, and the threat is not going to go away, says Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
21 August 2009 Obama Praises Courage and Dignity of Afghan Voters While results are not yet known in Afghanistan’s presidential and provincial council elections, President Obama says the vote was “an important step forward” for the Afghan people in taking control of their country’s future in the face of threats from violent extremists.
20 August 2009 Obama Pledges Increased Pressure in Afghanistan President Barack Obama pledged today to keep ramping up pressure on insurgents in Afghanistan, citing developments aimed at “squeezing them from both sides” to ultimately “flush them out.”
18 August 2009 Security Forces Working to Assure Afghans of Election Safety The general charged with coordinating the contributions to security for Afghanistan’s August 20 national elections by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says the biggest question facing the country is whether its people have the confidence and the will to participate in the democratic process in the face of threats from violent extremists.
17 August 2009 Afghan War ‘Fundamental’ to U.S. Defense, Obama Tells VFW Terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, are plotting to do so again, so defeating them is “fundamental to the defense of our people,” President Barack Obama told veterans at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix.
14 August 2009 Afghan Elections Essential Step in Defeating Taliban Insurgents The Afghanistan national elections scheduled for August 20 are essential to give legitimacy to the government and are critical for defeating the Taliban, who are struggling to regain a foothold as millions of Afghans register to vote in advance of the elections, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke says.
13 August 2009 New Afghan Assessment Will Not Address Additional U.S. Forces Defense Secretary Robert Gates says a new assessment of the military situation in Afghanistan will not contain specific recommendations for additional ground forces from the U.S. and NATO commander, Army General Stanley McChrystal.
11 August 2009 U.S., Afghan Engineers Join Together to Build Roads In 2007, two engineers — Abdul Hadi Rakin of the U.S.-based Society of Afghan Engineers and Michael Goode of the American Society of Civil Engineers — travelled to Afghanistan to assess the country's infrastructure and develop a proposal for engineer training at Kabul University. They found that, despite roads and power systems that had suffered from neglect during years of war, a number of Afghan engineering and construction companies were already working to restore the infrastructure.
10 August 2009 Afghan Transit Agreement Means Closer U.S.-Russia Cooperation The recent accord allowing the transport of U.S. troops and combat materials through Russian air space en route to Afghanistan not only will speed deployments and cut costs, but also set the stage for expanded cooperation in other security areas, say top U.S. defense officials.
06 August 2009 Afghans Taking Lead on Election Security, Fighting Violations Afghanistan's elections for its next president and the members of its provincial councils will be the country's first "truly contested" vote, says a U.S. official who is working with Afghan election officials to ensure that the vote will be inclusive, secure and credible.
29 July 2009 Clinton: Early Afghan Field Reports Are Encouraging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said resolution of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is to be found in a comprehensive military, political and economic strategy.
29 July 2009 U.S. Scraps Afghan Crop Eradication in Favor of Interdiction The Obama administration’s decision to eliminate poppy eradication in Afghanistan in favor of increasing drug interdiction efforts and assistance to Afghan farmers is beginning to show results, according to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke.
• Special Briefing By Special Representative Richard Holbrooke on Trip to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Brussels
28 July 2009 Women Indispensable to Elections, Democratization in Afghanistan "Women are an indispensable component to democracy in Afghanistan," serving important roles as candidates and voters in the nation's August 20 elections, says Vasu Mohan, deputy director for the Europe and Asia program of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that runs projects on democracy in 30 countries. An election is not just an event, Mohan explained, but "the seed of long-term democratic behavior. When women are politically involved, they reinforce this behavior because of their influence within the family and in larger society."
01 July 2009 Ambassador Urges Robust Afghan Debate on Women's Issues As campaigning for Afghanistan’s August 20 presidential and provincial elections moves forward, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues urges a credible, inclusive and secure campaign for all candidates and a vigorous debate on issues of concern to their female constituents.
10 June 2009 Envoy Holbrooke Briefs on Recent Trip to Pakistan, Gulf States Highlights current situation, emphasizes internally displaced persons.
19 May 2009 Humanitarian Aid to Pakistan “the people of the United States are responding to a request for assistance from the Government of Pakistan with more than $100 million in humanitarian support”.
11 May 2009 Statement on New U.S. Military Leadership in Afghanistan Change is part of new policy direction, not criticism of General McKiernan.
07 May 2009 Recognition Grows of Pakistan, Afghanistan as Regional Problem The Obama administration's review of U.S. policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan has led to wider recognition that the security challenges posed by the Taliban and al-Qaida are a regional problem and require a common front, President Obama's national security advisor told reporters.
06 May 2009 “Unprecedented Cooperation” in Pakistan, Afghanistan Talks Meetings involving Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari with President Obama and other officials of the United States in Washington have “advanced unprecedented cooperation” between the two South Asian nations, Obama said, to the benefit of all three countries.
• Remarks by the President after the Trilateral Meeting
• Briefing by National Security Advisor General James Jones on the President's Meetings with Presidents Karzai and Zardari
07 May 2009 U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Consultations II Remarks by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
05 May 2009 Obama Seeks Close Coordination with Afghan, Pakistani Leaders The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan are arriving for meetings with President Obama and other senior U.S. officials to try to develop closer trilateral coordination against terrorism and to address the impact of the global economic crisis in their countries.
05 May 2009 Pakistan’s Security Seen as Vital to U.S. National Security The hallmarks of U.S. engagement with Pakistan must be constancy and consistency to assure a strong partnership in the fight against Taliban extremists, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke says.
04 May 2009 United States Must Do More to Help Pakistan The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says he is concerned about the progress the Taliban insurgency has had in Pakistan and believes the United States must do more over the next two years to help the Pakistani government and armed forces succeed in curbing the Taliban.
23 April 2009 Progress in Afghanistan Depends on Progress in Pakistan Progress in suppressing a revived Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan depends on bringing stability and security to Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says. Testifying at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Clinton said the Obama administration is "deeply concerned by the increasing insurgency that is destabilizing Pakistan." There have been a series of meetings with the Pakistani government, civilian and military leaders, and Afghan leaders about the threat posed by the extremist Taliban insurgency that is gaining strong footholds in both countries.
21 April 2009 Eager to Learn About the World, Tech Savvy Afghans Turn to Blogs Tech-savvy Afghans increasingly are turning to blogs for information about their country and the world. They also use blogs as a platform for telling their stories about Afghanistan to the world, says Nasim Fekrat, one of Afghanistan's trailblazing bloggers.
06 April 2009 NATO Renews Commitment to Afghanistan's Future The 28-nation NATO alliance celebrated its 60th anniversary by pledging renewed resolve in its mission to help Afghanistan root out terrorist safe havens and to balance collective defense with emerging security challenges.
31 March 2009 New Afghan-Pakistan Plan a Comprehensive Strategy, Obama Says America's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is focused on dismantling terrorist networks but will employ a wide array of tactics, from strengthening regional security forces to a renewed focus on diplomacy, development and international cooperation, says President Obama.
30 March 2009 Statement on Afghanistan’s Supreme Court Ruling United States strongly supports ruling on continuation of Karzai’s term.
27 March 2009 A New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
• Press Briefing on New Strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan
• White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan
19 March 2009 Stabilizing Afghanistan Common Challenge for America and Iran In two conferences in March, American and Iranian diplomats will focus on a shared challenge: making new progress on promoting security and development in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region.
10 March 2009 NATO Allies Share Vital Interest in Stabilizing Afghanistan America and its NATO allies share “a vital security interest” in forging a common, comprehensive approach to stabilizing Afghanistan, says Vice President Biden.
09 March 2009 Biden Seeks European Perspectives on Afghan-Pakistan Strategy Vice President Biden is heading to Brussels to seek advice from America’s allies as the White House formulates a new way forward for international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
23 February 2009 Allies Agree to Boost Afghanistan Aid America’s allies remain firmly committed to the international effort to stabilize Afghanistan, says Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as seen in pledges from 20 countries to increase security assistance and development aid.
17 February 2009 Obama Orders First New Troops to Afghanistan President Obama has ordered 17,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan to stabilize deteriorating security conditions as his administration works with allies and regional partners to formulate a comprehensive recovery strategy for the shattered South Asian nation.
• Statement by President Obama on Afghanistan
13 February 2009 Top U.S. Commander Considers Road Ahead in Afghanistan Stabilizing Afghanistan will take an intensified international commitment to securing and serving the Afghan people, says U.S. Army General David Petraeus. "Together with our Afghan partners, we have to work to provide the people security, to give them respect, to gain their support, and to facilitate the provision of basic services," Petraeus told world leaders and top diplomats attending the Munich Conference on Security Policy February 8.
11 February 2009 Analysis: Afghanistan Needs the World's Help The world cannot afford to abandon the people of Afghanistan, says President Obama, who is calling for an intensified global effort to help its people eliminate terrorist safe havens and rebuild their shattered nation after decades of conflict. During his presidential campaign, Obama identified the stabilization of Afghanistan as a top U.S. foreign policy priority.
29 January 2009 Afghanistan Troop Buildup a 'Delicate' Endeavor, Spokesman Says
27 January 2009 Defense Secretary Gates Says Afghanistan Is Significant Challenge President Obama considers Afghanistan the “greatest military challenge” facing the United States as it works against an aggressive Taliban insurgency to bring peace and security, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says.
26 January 2009 Chemical Weapons Destruction Efforts in Afghanistan
23 January 2009 U.S. Sending Agriculture Development Teams to Afghanistan The U.S. is sending teams of U.S. Army National Guardsmen to Afghanistan to bolster security, but also to enhance the country's farming economy, senior Pentagon officials say. The concept came from the National Guardsmen themselves.