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Afghanistan & Pakistan

Afghanistan & Pakistan

Afghanistan & Pakistan News

22 July 2014 State’s Dobbins on Afghanistan, Election Progress

18 July 2014 Foreign Press Center Briefing with Principal Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Daniel Feldman

14 July 2014 State Dept. Background Briefing on Afghanistan Elections 

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."

27 May 2014 Senior Officials' Background Briefing on Afghanistan 

25 May 2014 Remarks by the President to the Troops at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

30 April 2014 New Silk Road Initiative Will Open Markets, Connect Countries

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."

2013 

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.

13 October 2013 Kerry, Afghan President Karzai After Their Meeting in Kabul
State Dept. Briefing on U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership

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

12 May 2013 State's Burns at Media Round Table in Afghanistan

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

10 January 2013 Secretary of Defense Panetta and Afghan President Karzai at Pentagon 

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.

2012

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

08 July 2012 State Department Fact Sheet: Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan  

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.

2011

22 December 2011 Department of Defense Statement Regarding Investigation Results into Pakistan Cross-Border Incident

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

05 December 2011 Secretary Clinton at Breakfast with Afghan Civil Society Representatives

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.

12 July 2011 Secretary Clinton on Assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai 

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.

22 March 2011  Statement by Secretary Clinton on President Karzai's Transition Announcement

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.

21 February  2011 Background Briefing on Diplomatic Immunity with a Senior Administration Official

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.

Secretary Kerry on Upcoming Afghan Elections

Farmer to Farmer: Arghandab Pomegranates

16 November 2011
Farmer to Farmer: Arghandab Pomegranates (A State Dept/USDA feature)

Farmer to Farmer: Arghandab Pomegranates (A State Dept/USDA feature)


Excessive rains caused much of southern Afghanistan's pomegranate crop to split, making the fruit difficult to export and causing many farmers to use their harvest only as animal feed.

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 video    of Soiseth's work in Arghandab District.

 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is installing some 170 solar-powered streetlights in the Afghan capital.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is installing some 170 solar-powered streetlights in the Afghan capital.

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.

19 August 2010 Updated Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

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.

16 August 2010 Updated Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

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)

08 August 2010 Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Killing of Medical Aid Workers in Afghanistan

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

19 July 2010  Signing of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement

19 July 2010 Secretary Clinton's Remarks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Following the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

19 July 2010 U.S. Announces New Communications, Historic Preservation Partnerships with Pakistan

13 May 2010 Sec. Clinton's Remarks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a Moderated Conversation at the U.S. Institute of Peace

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.

11 May 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton At U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Discussions

11 May 2010 Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Before Their Meeting

09 May 2010 Secretary Clinton's Interview with Scott Pelley of CBS 60 Minutes

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 Secretary Clinton's Remarks at the International Conference on Afghanistan

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).

27 January 2010 Secretary Clinton Remarks With British Foreign Secretary David Miliband And Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qirbi

 

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  President Barack Obama said today he will announce his decision on the strategy and troop request for Afghanistan “shortly after Thanksgiving.” During a news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Obama said the strategy review he and his national security team performed was extremely useful, and he provided a glimpse at the conclusions.

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's Trip to Afghanistan

18 November 2009 Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's Trip to Afghanistan 
Secretary Clinton will travel to Afghanistan to attend President Karzai’s November 19 inauguration ceremony, meet with Afghanistan’s leadership, international partners and allies, US troops, staff in Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and Embassy staff. This is the Secretary's fourth trip to Afghanistan, first as Secretary of State.

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  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today completed a 3-day visit to Pakistan. In her meetings and public events in both Islamabad and Lahore, Secretary Clinton underscored America’s desire to build a broad and deep partnership with Pakistan based on mutual trust and respect that both combats violent extremists and strengthens Pakistan’s democratically elected government and civilian institutions to serve Pakistan’s people.

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.

30 October 2009 Secretary Clinton's "Townterview" with Prominent Women Journalists in Islamabad, Pakistan

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 Town Hall with Secretary Clinton at Government College University

29 October 2009 Secretary Clinton's Travel to the Middle East

28 October 2009 United States Provides $45 Million for Higher Education Commission

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.

28 October 2009 Secretary Clinton Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

27 October 2009 On-The-Record Briefing by Secretary Clinton En Route Islamabad, Pakistan

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.

11 May 2009 Press Conference with Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen on Leadership Changes in Afghanistan From the Pentagon

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.
 • Remarks by Vice President Biden at NATO Press Conference

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.

26 February 2009 Clinton Remarks at Meeting with Afghan, Pakistani Officials  Officials discuss strategic issues and exchange views

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.

January 2009

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.

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