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News and Views

Afghan-Americans Weighing Presidential Candidates’ Afghanistan Policy


Afghan-Americans are carefully listening to the views of the U.S. presidential candidates on their policy objectives and specific plans for the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Most Afghan-Americans in the US are first and second generation Afghans with direct and close ties to their native homeland. Thus, who they will vote for in the remaining primaries and general elections will not only depend on the candidates’ domestic agenda but also their policy towards Afghanistan.

In an interview with California-based Khorasan TV, Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari told the TV’s Afghan-American audience that the candidates from both Democrat and Republican parties shared a common view on the continued strong commitment of the U.S. to Afghanistan’s long-term stabilization and reconstruction. He noted that the presidential candidates understood well and repeatedly pointed out in their campaign speeches that Afghanistan remains the original front in the war against terrorism. “Republican and Democrat candidates also understand well that the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists cannot be defeated in Afghanistan unless their ideological and operational infrastructure is dismantled in Pakistan where they increasingly pose a major threat to that country’s stability with further consequences in Afghanistan,” Haidari added.

Moreover, Haidari pointed out that the presidential candidates were aware of weak state institutions in Afghanistan, where abject poverty prevailed and made people extremely vulnerable to the Taliban. “Whoever becomes your President, the next Administration will have to play a leading role in the international community to help focus foreign assistance on building institutional capacity in Afghanistan,” Haidari said. He noted that the war in Afghanistan was “ours to win with the Afghan people overwhelmingly supporting the international community and their forces” in the country.

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