Archive for the ‘Dadfar Rangin Spanta’ Category

Afghanistan to take part in US strategic review

February 15, 2009

The Afghan government will take part in a U.S. strategic review of the war in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai said Sunday in a sign of increased cooperation at a time of strained relations.

Karzai recently sent President Barack Obama a letter with a proposal that Afghanistan join a war review currently under way.

By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said at a joint news conference that Obama had “welcomed the suggestion.”

Karzai said his foreign minister, Dadfar Rangin Spanta, would head the delegation. The U.S. has several reviews of the situation in Afghanistan under way, and it was not immediately clear which one Afghan officials would take part in.

The U.S. is studying the situation in Afghanistan at a time of spiraling violence. Taliban attacks have spiked the last three years, and militants have swept up wide areas of countryside that the Afghan government has not been able to control.

Obama has said the U.S. will increase its focus on Afghanistan and draw down forces in Iraq under his watch. The U.S. is contemplating sending up to 30,000 more troops to bolster the 33,000 already in Afghanistan.

Karzai told the news conference he was “grateful” for an agreement announced Thursday between Afghanistan and the U.S. military that Afghan forces would take on a greater role in the planning and execution of missions with the aim of reducing civilian casualties.

He said he hoped the agreement would “reduce civilian casualties and prevent nighttime raids.” Overnight raids by elite U.S. Special Operations Forces cause many of the civilian deaths that Karzai has repeatedly denounced, but the agreement made no mention that such targeted missions would end.

Read the rest: