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News and Views

Ambassador Jawad Speaks to Former Members of Congress

On January 19 Ambassador Said T. Jawad spoke to 100 members of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC), detailing the challenges in Afghanistan in 2009 and how they can best be addressed.

In his presentation to the association, Ambassador Jawad highlighted the increase in security incidents in Afghanistan in 2008 and identified a number of solutions for 2009. He stressed the need for a temporary surge of U.S. troops, the continued building of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police and the improvement of military operations to minimize civilian casualties.

Ambassador Jawad also warned of engaging the Taliban, stating that any talks must be from a position of strength and with clear parameters. He similarly warned against seeing the use of tribal militias as a silver bullet to he conflict, noting that the international community should focus on long-term solutions like building Afghan institutions.

During his presentation Ambassador Jawad gave additional emphasis to measures that could help enhance governance in Afghanistan, including the improved delivery of services; the continued fight against corruption, which has increased with the appointment of a new Minister of the Interior; building human capital and providing more resources to governors.

Ambassador Jawad closed his presentation by thanking the former members of Congress, many of whom have travelled to the region or worked on Afghanistan, for the commitment the U.S. has shown to securing and development the country. He reserved special appreciation for the U.S. servicemen and women who have served and continue to serve in Afghanistan.

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