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Defense Minister Wardak Meets with Vice President Cheney

Afghanistan’s Minister of Defense, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, met on November 16 with Vice President Dick Cheney to discuss security issues concerning Afghanistan and the region.

Vice President Cheney assured General Wardak that building the security forces of Afghanistan will remain a crucial mission for the United States and the international community for the foreseeable future. General Wardak expressed the gratitude of the Afghan people for America’s continuous assistance and emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership.

As Afghanistan remains the original front in the global war on terror, General Wardak recommended a regional approach to fight terrorism and narcotics in Afghanistan. Shutting down the sources of terrorist motivation, financing and training was advocated as the most effective means of winning the peace in Afghanistan. General Wardak and Vice President Cheney also discussed methods of enhancing the capacity of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police to be permanently present in villages that have been threatened by terrorist incursions and cross-border infiltrations. General Wardak praised the achievements of Coalition Forces, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, and the Afghan National Army. However, he stressed that military action must be joined with long-term reconstruction and development assistance to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan.

General Wardak emphasized the need for additional resources and equipment to enable Afghanistan’s security services to protect Afghan civilians, and welcomed the recent increase in U.S. military spending in Afghanistan for 2007.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak has served Afghanistan in a number of military roles throughout the last thirty years. Since the fall of communist regime in 1992, General Wardak has been a member of the security committee of Kabul City, Chief of the Army Staff, Director of the Military Officers Society, Director of the Education Commission, member of the rehabilitation of the National Army Commission, Deputy Defense Minister, Director of Disarmament Program and Director of Reform of National Army. He was appointed Minister of Defense by President Karzai in December 2004.

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