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Ambassador Jawad Addresses Packed Crowd at Clinton School


A standing room only crowd turned out Monday evening October 5, 2009 at the University Of Arkansas Clinton School Of Public Service in Little Rock to hear Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Said Jawad speak. 


“It is essential that both international and Afghan troop levels be raised,” Jawad said.  The ambassador explained that additional US and international forces in Afghanistan would be more than welcomed and would allow his countrymen time to rebuild police and military forces devastated from 30 years of conflict. 


The packed room receptively took in his comments. 

“The security challenges [can] not be overcome with the current strength and composition of Afghan and international troops,” Jawad explained.   In order to build the capacity of the Afghan troops, we need room and time that could be provided by additional US troops,” he said.

If the US retains current troop levels, Jawad said, “…it will put the lives of American [and] NATO soldiers in danger and it will put in danger many of the accomplishments of the Afghan people and our international partners.” 

The Afghan Ambassador said on average seven Afghan National Police die every day fighting alongside American and international troops.   Further, he argues, opinion polls conducted throughout the country indicate Afghans believe insecurity, unemployment and terrorism are the real problem of instability.   

The ambassador thanked the crowd for the support from their hometown military, “Your men and women are heroes,” he said sincerely.  “I feel humbled to ask for additional troops. I wish we had the capacity to fight for ourselves.  We don't." 


Two hundred members of the Arkansas National Guard will deploy to Afghanistan, in the coming months.


Jawad told the crowd the US Military’s work in Afghanistan has not been without tremendous gain, citing many new developments in recent years. 


“Women have become elected officials, senator and ministers; they are voters, students, teachers, and entrepreneurs. We have a vibrant and free media, with hundreds of private radio and TV stations,” he told the crowd. 


He also stressed Afghanistan’s fight to create a government which is clear of any negative allegations.  “We are working hard to fight corruption and build clean and competent institutions,” he said.  Jawad stated that more than 600 officials were arrested this year in an effort to make sweeping governance improvements throughout the country.   


“We have one of the best cabinets in the history of Afghanistan and are improving the quality of our governors and other officials,” he said. 

The ambassador attributed drugs, terrorism, and a lack of personnel to previous accusations, and referred to the falling number of narcotic and poppy cultivations in the country as evidence of significant improvements.    


The ambassador enjoyed an overwhelmingly warm reception which included Congressman Vic Snyder (D-AR), the Dean of the Clinton School James “Skip” Rutherford, and dozens of interested Akansases in the audience.  


Jawad’s speech saturated Little Rock media and included one on one interviews with WXVT ABC, KARK NBC, THV 11 CBS, Little Rock’s Democratic Gazette, and the state’s Associated Press reporter.  




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