Afghanistan — Progress in Establishing Security in South

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force offi­cial said today that progress con­tin­ues is being made in estab­lish­ing secu­ri­ty in south­ern Afghanistan. Ger­man Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesman, acknowl­edged that that the sit­u­a­tion in the south­ern provinces of Hel­mand and Kan­da­har has been dif­fi­cult. But he stressed that the ISAF and Afghanistan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force are work­ing hard to put a stop to the vio­lence.

German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, International Security Assistance Force spokesman
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ger­man Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force spokesman, and Afghan Nation­al Army Maj. Gen. Zahir Azi­mi, Min­istry of Defense spokesman, brief reporters on secu­ri­ty with­in south­ern Afghanistan July 7, 2010, at the Gov­er­ment Media and Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter here.
Source: ISAF pho­to by U.S. Army Spc. Lester B. Col­ley
Click to enlarge

“We’ve reached a mile­stone this week that we believe will improve secu­ri­ty in the South, deny­ing insur­gents the abil­i­ty to use Kan­da­har as a safe haven and point of attack,” said Blotz.

While high­light­ing the progress made by ISAF and the ANSF, Blotz reit­er­at­ed the ISAF Commander’s goal to con­tin­ue with the strat­e­gy of ensur­ing sta­bil­i­ty in Afghanistan.

“The gen­er­al (Army Gen. David H. Petraeus) is already very engaged with our civil­ian and mil­i­tary part­ners in Afghanistan and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty and is mov­ing for­ward with ISAF’s strat­e­gy to secure a peace­ful and pros­per­ous future for Afghanistan,” said Blotz, adding that Gen. Petraeus, in his ini­tial meet­ings had pro­vid­ed his guid­ance to the com­mand and the oper­a­tions will go on as planned.

Blotz went on to explain that ISAF and ANSF reached a mile­stone this week to improve the secu­ri­ty in the South deny­ing the insur­gents the abil­i­ty to use Kan­da­har as a safe haven.

“I’m talk­ing about the thir­teen check­points that make up a devel­op­ing secu­ri­ty sys­tems around the city of Kan­da­har,” said Blotz. “The sys­tem of check­points achieved ini­tial oper­at­ing capa­bil­i­ty on July 1 and we’re already see­ing some ini­tial suc­cess­es.”

The results have proved suc­cess­ful in keep­ing the insur­gents at bay, he added.

ISAF and ANSF forces efforts to build up these check­points and the oth­er secu­ri­ty mea­sures will be done dai­ly,” he said.

As an exam­ple of progress, Blotz point­ed out that coali­tion forces recent­ly car­ried out a very sig­nif­i­cant and suc­cess­ful oper­a­tion against the Tal­iban in south­ern Hel­mand Province killing more than 50 insur­gents and cap­tur­ing sev­er­al more. Addi­tion­al­ly, they seized 5700 kilo­grams of nar­cotics with a val­ue of 1.15 bil­lion Afgha­nis.

“These drugs, com­bined with oth­er seizure[s] ear­li­er this week brought the total amount of illic­it nar­cotics destroyed in Hel­mand province in the five days to more than 13,000 kilo­grams,” he said.

While the Tal­iban regime depends on the rev­enue of nar­cotics sales to fund their resources the cur­rent oper­a­tions has decreased that total by 6.16 bil­lion Afgha­nis.

“Such oper­a­tions are hap­pen­ing every­day and they’re mak­ing a dif­fer­ence as ISAF forces con­tin­ue and increase their relent­less pur­suit and destruc­tion of these insur­gent net­works,” Blotz said. “We are see­ing that their actions are becom­ing increas­ing­ly des­per­ate and mur­der­ous.”

On Sun­day there was an attack where an insur­gent rode a bicy­cle with an impro­vised explo­sive device hid­den inside into a local bazaar and det­o­nat­ed the explo­sive result­ing in the death of three chil­dren and two adults. The blast also wound­ed four more.

“They were all inno­cent Afghans,” Blotz said.

With regards to the recent attacks, Blotz empha­sized the shame­ful­ness of the acts.

He said the Afghan women and chil­dren are the ones suf­fer­ing at the hands of these insur­gents but believes the peo­ple under­stand.

“The Afghans are see­ing that the Afghan gov­ern­ment and ISAF are work­ing to pro­tect them, while the Tal­iban and oth­er insur­gents are killing, intim­i­dat­ing and offer­ing noth­ing pro­duc­tive for the future,” Blotz added. “Our forces are work­ing fever­ish­ly to address the lev­el of vio­lence we’re all see­ing in the South, and we will keep going until the sit­u­a­tion improves. Gen­er­al Petraeus has said that we all rec­og­nize we are in a bat­tle of wills, and ISAF, part­nered with the Gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan are in this to win.”

Blotz not­ed that this is a long term effort, and the Afghan peo­ple should under­stand that we’ll con­tin­ue this mis­sion.

Press release
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es