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Ambassador Said T. Jawad Addresses World Affairs Council of Washington, DC

Ambassador Jawad spoke to an audience of World Affairs Council of Washington, DC at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on May 23. The Ambassador focused on the security situation in Afghanistan, and outlined the country’s security strategy in the wake of new waves of Taliban violence. “Is Afghanistan more secure today than it was five years ago? Unequivocally. Are we in danger of backsliding if we do not confront the extremists who are committed to our destruction? Most certainly,” said the Ambassador.

Ambassador Jawad explained that global security is threatened by insecurity in Afghanistan’s greater region. The tragic events of September 11th demonstrated that terrorists cannot be given safe havens anywhere in the world. “In a globalized world, we are all neighbors, and we enjoy both the benefits and the risks of this closer relationship,” said the Ambassador.

Speaking about the situation on the ground, the Ambassador said that the Taliban’s spring offensive had not yet materialized, as ISAF and the Afghan national security forces have engaged in their own aggressive offensive through Operation Achilles and Operation New Year, perhaps the most aggressive and well-coordinated since 2002. But as military action increases, Ambassador Jawad insisted that international military forces must prioritize the protection of civilians in order to avoid both the tragic loss of innocent human life and the resulting disaffection and disillusionment with the government and the Coalition.

“We must not forget that this fight will not be won by military means alone; we must fight terrorism as a phenomenon as we fight terrorists as individuals. This will require a strategic co-ordination of military, political and development efforts across the country. Without adequate development, sources of credit and job opportunities, people will once again be taken hostage by the Taliban and Al Qaeda,” said the Ambassador.

The World Affairs Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with 2,000 Washington area members. The Council is an affiliate of the Foreign Policy Association in New York and is part of a national network of World Affairs Councils located in such metropolitan areas as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco.

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