Archive for the ‘Afghan’ Category

Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

March 10, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden says the “deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan poses a security threat to every NATO country and beyond.
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BRUSSELS — Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO members to jointly confront Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan where he said instability threatens all of the alliance’s members equally.

Appearing before NATO’s top decision making body, Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency.

He warned the situation in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was worsening, adding, “The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat from our respect not just to the United States, but to every single nation around this table.”

“It was from that remote area of the world that Al Qaeda plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks” in Europe and elsewhere.

In his speech, Biden said the Obama administration will be keen to engage NATO allies in global security discussions, marking a departure from the last eight years when Washington often was on a go-it-alone course that upset its European allies.

“President Obama and I are deeply committed to NATO. Lets get that straight right from the start,” Biden told the North Atlantic Council — the panel of ambassadors from NATO’s 26 member nations.

Biden said Americans view a terrorist attack in Europe “as an attack on the United States. That is not hyperbole … We view it as a gateway to further attacks on the United States. So please understand that this is not a U.S.-centrist view that only if America is attacked is there a terrorist threat.”

He said he came to hear ideas from the allies on how NATO can bring stability to Afghanistan.

“It is from that area that Al Qaeda and its extremist allies are regenerating in conceiving new atrocities aimed at the people around the world from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the United States, Europe and Australia,” he added.

After his consultations with NATO allies he will meet with senior officials at EU headquarters.
His visit, less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with senior NATO and EU officials here, highlights the new priority that diplomatic outreach to allies has become for Washington.

An issue closely related to the Afghan war is growing concern that neighboring Pakistan could be sliding further into instability.

Obama launched a strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan after he took office in January. That review is expected to be completed later this month.

“What I want to learn is what your countries believe are working, what you think is not working, how we can do a better job in stopping Afghanistan and Pakistan from being a haven for terrorists,” Biden said.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200
9/03/10/biden-warns-deteriorating-sit
uation-afghanistan/

See Also Reuters:
“West Not ‘Winning’ in Afghanistan”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90310/pl_nm/us_afghan_nato_b
iden_4

While President Obama and VP Biden attempt to squeeze more troops out of Europe, they are facing the economic problems of the global recession as well as great uncertainty about U.S. policy, commitment, capability and ability….

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Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Russia Is Top Heroin Consumer

March 7, 2009

Moscow Russia has become the world’s biggest heroin consumer, and the flood of the drug from Afghanistan poses a threat to national security, Russia’s drug enforcement chief said Friday. “In recent years Russia has not just become massively hooked on Afghan opiates, it has also become the world’s absolute leader in the opiate trade and the number one heroin consumer,” Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said in a report made public on Friday.

–Reuters

Petraeus: Afghan, Pakistan problems are really one

January 9, 2009

U.S. policy to win in Afghanistan must recognize the poor nation’s limitations and its neighborhood, especially its intertwined relationship with U.S. terrorism-fighting ally Pakistan, the top U.S. military commander in the region said Thursday.

Army Gen. David Petraeus, who became a household name overseeing the war in Iraq, now oversees the older, smaller and less promising fight in Afghanistan as well. He predicted a long war in Afghanistan, without quantifying it.

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

U.S. General David Petraeus, the commander overseeing military ... 
U.S. General David Petraeus, the commander overseeing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, talks during a conference in Rome December 9, 2008.(Tony Gentile/Reuters)

Petraeus told a Washington audience that a winning strategy in Afghanistan will look different from the one in Iraq. He offered few specifics as the incoming Obama administration assess its options in the 7-year-old Afghanistan war that has gone much worse than anticipated, just as U.S. fortunes have improved in Iraq. He also suggested the United States and its partners may one day have common purpose with Iran, another Afghanistan neighbor, in stabilizing and remaking that country.

“There has been nothing easy about Afghanistan, indeed nearly every aspect has been hard and that will continue to be the case in 2009 and the years beyond,” Petraeus said in an address to the United States Institute of Peace.

The address was part of a conference highlighting world trouble spots at the moment of political transition in the United States. The institute released a sober outline of problems in Afghanistan as part of the session.

The report said the U.S. and its partners have shortchanged Afghanistan by focusing on short-term goals pursued without a cohesive strategy or clear understanding of how the decentralized country works. It suggested President-elect Barack Obama should refocus the U.S. war and rebuilding effort in Afghanistan and think of the project as the work of at least a decade.

Petraeus’ own review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is expected to be presented to Obama the week after he takes office Jan. 20. The plan would shift the focus from the waning fight in Iraq to the escalating Afghan battle.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090109/ap_on
_go_ca_st_pe/us_afghanistan_11