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Ambassador Jawad Discusses New Strategy and Regional Relations

Ambassador Said T. Jawad analyzed the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and discussed regional relations at a conference in Freeport, The Bahamas on June 10-12. The conference, "The Af-Pak Theater: Militant Islam, Stability and Security," was organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

In a paper prepared for the conference, Ambassador Jawad delved into specific elements of the new U.S. strategy presented by President Obama in March, focusing on security, reconciliation, development, governance, corruption, a civilian surge and narcotics.

On the issue of security, Ambassador Jawad cited the need to continue expanding the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police while cracking down on terrorist sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan's borders. In discussing reconciliation and engagement with the Taliban, he stressed the need for the Afghan government and international community to speak from a position of strength.

Regarding development, Ambassador Jawad noted the importance of steering aid funds through the Afghan government budget and trust funds and ensuring that measures be taken by the international community to ensure aid effectiveness and prevent waste. On a civilian surge, he highlighted the Afghan government's plan requesting civilian experts and advisors from the U.S. and international community to help in building capacity within Afghan government ministries and institutions.

Ambassador Jawad also outlined the government's commitment to fighting corruption, called for a specific division of labor between the Afghan government and the international community in the fight against narcotics and stressed the importance of a free and fair presidential election in August.

Beyond thematic elements of the new strategy, Ambassador Jawad broadly discussed the role of Afghanistan's neighbors in fighting terrorism. With regards to Pakistan, he welcomed the new relationship between President Hamid Karzai and President Asif Ali Zardari while calling for specific goals to be met by Pakistan's security institutions in the fight against terrorism. Ambassador Jawad also recognized the interests and contributions of Iran, India, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Central Asian neighbors in helping stabilize and secure Afghanistan.

In closing, Ambassador Jawad thanked the U.S. and NATO countries for their support of the mission in Afghanistan. He also recognized that any failures in Afghanistan were not caused by a lack of commitment or effort, but simply a shortage of resources for the tasks faced by the Afghan government and its partners. "As far as we are concerned, the process moved forward despite obstacles, and it will do so with certainty," he stated.

A Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context - Full Paper (.PDF)

Related News: Ambassador Jawad Addresses Engagement with Taliban

                      Ambassador Jawad Speaks at Atlantic Council

                      Ambassador Jawad Welcomes New U.S. Strategy

                      Ambassador Jawad Outlines New Strategy in Harvard Speech

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