Negotiation 3 – Terrorism
Thank you once again for attending today’s discussions.
Afghanistan recognises that its future depends heavily on the international community's willingness to continue delivering concrete resources to the Afghan Government. It depends equally on international willingness to help protect the Afghan Government against the Taliban and other extremists who are waging a bloody insurgency in the south and east of the country.
Neither of these tasks will be simple, and neither will be completed soon, but the past few years have been a story of success for our country and its people, as well as the international community. The Afghan Government and ...view middle of the document...
According to the IMF, the Afghan opiate GDP in 2005 was $2.6 billion—roughly a third of the country's $7.3 billion licit GDP.
Key to making progress is bolstering security. Even in areas of the country where the insurgency is not active, security is falling short.
There are not enough properly trained, equipped, or well-paid security forces. Even though the Afghan National Army continues to become larger, stronger, and more experienced, progress has been slow and little progress has been made in constructing an effective Afghan National Police force.
The Taliban has built momentum this year. The level of violence associated with the insurgency has increased significantly and the group has become more aggressive than in years past. The Taliban almost certainly refocused its attacks in an attempt to confuse NATO's efforts in southern Afghanistan. Kabul 's ability to provide sound governance and badly needed aid to these areas will be key to preventing the Taliban and other extremists from intimidating the population into complying with its activities. Kabul needs help because it lacks capacity—not because it lacks political will or lacks support. President Karzai understands this and recognizes his government's responsibility.
We are also concerned with the use of air operations in Afghanistan. Last year Afghanistan has witnessed sharp criticism from its people of civilian casualties caused by air strikes. Such incidents have the potentioal to sharply discourage popular support for the government, essential to the success of any counterinsurgency. We hope that the growing international force presence may allow some reduction in the use of air power such as drone attacks.
Current terrorism problems
Al-Qa'ida sees its war against the West as the continuation of a decades, perhaps centuries-old, struggle to defend Islam from political and cultural domination by a Judeo-Christian alliance now led by the United States and Israel . Since Bin Ladin declared war on the United States in 1998, al-Qa'ida has focused primarily on attacks aimed at weakening and punishing the United States and its immediate allies.
Understanding the source of al-Qa'ida's resilience is key to defeating it. With regard to the central organization headed by Bin Ladin, that resilience stems from several factors:
First, the group's cadre of seasoned, committed leaders has allowed it to remain fairly cohesive and stay focused on its strategic objectives—despite having lost a number of important veterans over the years.
Usama Bin Ladin and Ayman al-Zawahiri continue to play a crucial role in inspiring jihadists and promoting unity. Their demise would not spell the end of the threat, but probably would contribute to the unraveling of the central al-Qa'ida organization.
The loss of a series of veteran al-Qa'ida leaders since 9/11 has been mitigated by the group's “deep bench” of lower-ranking personnel capable of stepping up to assume leadership...