Mullen Gets Afghanistan Updates in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 3, 2010 — The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dis­cussed progress and chal­lenges in Afghanistan with top mil­i­tary and diplo­mat­ic offi­cials dur­ing a three-hour vis­it here today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen arrived this morn­ing and met with Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Har­ward, com­man­der of the new­ly estab­lished Com­bined Joint Inter­a­gency Task Force 435.

The Task Force, which stood up Sept. 1, works in part­ner­ship with the Afghan gov­ern­ment and U.S. inter­a­gency and inter­na­tion­al part­ners. It con­ducts deten­tion and cor­rec­tions oper­a­tions, works with Afghanistan’s judi­cial sec­tor and col­lects bio­met­rics for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion records. Ulti­mate­ly, offi­cials said, the task force will tran­si­tion deten­tion oper­a­tions to Afghan con­trol while pro­mot­ing rule-of-law prac­tices.

Mullen then met with U.S. Ambas­sador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eiken­ber­ry, fol­lowed by a meet­ing with Kirk E. Mey­er, direc­tor of the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, an inter­a­gency oper­a­tion set up in 2009 by the U.S. gov­ern­ment to gath­er intel­li­gence on how the insur­gency finances its oper­a­tions and how to shut down its mon­ey sup­plies.

The chairman’s next meet­ing was with Army Brig. Gen. H.R. McMas­ter, who recent­ly arrived here to serve as a deputy in strate­gic plans and pol­i­cy for the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force. While serv­ing in Iraq, McMas­ter devel­oped tac­tics that have been fold­ed into the coun­terin­sur­gency strat­e­gy.

A meet­ing over lunch with Army Gen. David H. Petraeus capped the chairman’s vis­it to Afghanistan’s cap­i­tal and marked the sec­ond time they’ve met since Petraeus took com­mand of ISAF and U.S. forces in Afghanistan in ear­ly July.

On the way to Kab­ul from Islam­abad, Pak­istan, this morn­ing, Mullen told reporters he expect­ed they would dis­cuss over­all prin­ci­ples tied to the tran­si­tion of secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty to Afghan secu­ri­ty forces, as well as chal­lenges that affect that effort.

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

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