Seven years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has seen an increase in security incidents that have killed soldiers and civilians, including assassination attempts on President Ahmed Kharzai.
While larger parts of the country remain safe and democratization and
development continue moving forward, Afghan Minister of Defense General
Abdul Rahim Wardak says the rise in violence requires new approaches involving Afghan
institutions, regional partners and the international community.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation,
General Rahim said Afghanistan has made considerable progress over
time, but also suggested that three significant challenges remain.
• “The capability and capacity of our security forces ought to be
enhanced,” he said. He said the Taliban are well-equipped, highly
mobile and relying on quality intelligence.
• The second challenge, he said, lies in reforming the country’s
electoral institutions so that elections deliver legitimate poll
The final challenge, he said, lies in the need for the United States
government to deny a safe haven, security and support for “enemies of
Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow for the South Asia Studies
Center at the Heritage Foundation, suggests that the Afghan government
still needs greater international support to secure and stabilize
Afghanistan, a crucial front in the global War on Terrorism. She says
more international troops are needed, and that “NATO leaders need to
educate their publics about the urgent need to prevent the
re-establishment of a terrorist state in Afghanistan, which would
greatly amplify the worldwide terrorist threat.”
“Washington and Kabul need greater co-operation from Pakistan in
denying sanctuary to Taliban and al-Qaeda elements in the border areas.
The results of the February 18 Pakistani election provide an
opportunity to isolate extremists along the border,” she says.
She says the U.S. should work with NATO countries on a joint approach to Pakistan and consider appointing a high-level envoy to coordinate policies between Afghanistan and Pakistan.