ISAF Needs to Maintain Momentum in Afghanistan, General Says

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011 — NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force has a “real­is­tic chance” to meet its goals in Afghanistan if mem­ber nations main­tain cur­rent efforts there, an ISAF leader said today.

“We have achieved quite some­thing; how­ev­er, chal­lenges are still out there,” Maj. Gen. Richard Ross­manith of the Ger­man army, ISAF’s deputy chief of staff for sta­bil­i­ty, said dur­ing a Pen­ta­gon news brief­ing from the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kabul. 

“We need to con­tin­ue our com­mon effort [in Afghanistan],” he said. 

“We need to stay togeth­er,” Ross­manith con­tin­ued. “We need to main­tain the momen­tum. There is a real­is­tic chance to get the job done in the right way, and we have a chance to actu­al­ly achieve our objec­tives in this mission.” 

Ross­manith over­sees more than a hun­dred mil­i­tary and civil­ian mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing about 50 ISAF mem­ber nations, work­ing to devel­op gov­er­nance and a sus­tain­able econ­o­my in Afghanistan. Those mem­ber nations “have a vest­ed inter­est in near­ly all areas” of Afghanistan’s gov­ern­ment and eco­nom­ic prospects, he said. 

The sta­bil­i­ty group over­sees efforts to improve rule of law, land man­age­ment, rev­enue gen­er­a­tion, civil­ian avi­a­tion, roads, bridges, schools, train­ing civ­il ser­vants, and oth­er ini­tia­tives, Ross­manith said. 

“We still have a huge amount of chal­lenges,” he said, “but we are on a good way toward irre­versible achievements.” 

Those chal­lenges, Ross­manith said, include bor­der secu­ri­ty with Pak­istan and insur­gent safe havens there, and the insur­gency with­in Afghanistan. “We must be real­is­tic,” he said, “these bor­ders, with respect to the ter­rain, may nev­er be ful­ly con­trol­lable. We will need to do a lot in the coun­try” to bol­ster Afghanistan’s bor­der security. 

Rev­enue gen­er­a­tion also remains an issue, the gen­er­al said. Still, there has been mea­sur­able progress in build­ing Afghanistan’s infra­struc­ture and gov­er­nance, he said. Among oth­er things, the nation­al gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing estab­lish­ing a roads author­i­ty to sus­tain that progress. 

Gov­ern­ment sta­bil­i­ty in Afghanistan needs improve­ment, Ross­manith said. “At the end of the day, the sit­u­a­tion there still is soft,” he acknowledged. 

What will strength­en it, he said, is to con­tin­ue with the cur­rent strat­e­gy to build up Afghan secu­ri­ty forces enough in the next 12 to 15 months so that the Afghans can take more respon­si­bil­i­ty for their secu­ri­ty, gov­er­nance and eco­nom­ic future. 

For­eign invest­ment in Afghanistan has helped, Ross­manith said. 

“Indeed, a huge amount of mon­ey has been spent in Afghanistan, and we see the pos­i­tive effects of that, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the past one to two years,” he said. “This sup­ports our com­pre­hen­sive [coun­terin­sur­gency] efforts and we see the pos­i­tive effects of all that was spent by the Unit­ed States and all the oth­er nations.” 

The gen­er­al declined to com­ment on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-broth­er of Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai and a major pow­er bro­ker in south­ern Afghanistan, who was assas­si­nat­ed yes­ter­day, say­ing only that it was too ear­ly to draw con­clu­sions and that ISAF will sup­port the gov­ern­ment investigation. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →