March 22nd, 2011
07:22 AM ET

7 areas to begin handover to Afghan forces in July

Seven areas of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul and a city in the restless province of Helmand, will begin to be handed over to Afghan forces to maintain their security in July, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday.

The announcement from the president marks the first step in NATO's long-awaited plan to hand over security to a series of provinces across the country, leading up to 2014 when it is expected that Afghan security forces will be in control of the whole country.

Members of NATO applauded the announcement.

"This represents the next stage of Afghanistan's journey," said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "We are committed not to leave any security vacuum that could breed extremism."

The "transition is a process. It is not flipping a switch. Certainly Afghans will be in the lead but we are still here and will still help," said Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

He said the decision to begin transitioning Lashkar Gah, an area in Helmand province, was a "testament to the progress made in the south."

Southern regions such as Kandahar and Helmand provinces have long been major fronts in the war against the Taliban.

In speech last month, Karzai talked about this upcoming transition. During that speech, Karzai credited the influx of 70,000 international forces in 2010 for improving the situation and helping Afghan security forces.

"We are determined to demonstrate Afghan leadership and ownership of the transition process," he said.

– CNN's Matiullah Mati and journalist Nick Paton Walsh contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghan security forces • Helmand • Kabul • Karzai
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. phillies blunt

    Witty! I'm bookmarking you site for future use.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pamiri

    I do not think so if the Afghan government take the leading and control of country with such existence of leaderships like Karzai and Talibanized ministers,

    From Kabul

    March 28, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. salerno

    Desertion is wonderfull. It is the real freedom. Nobody can give you orders, you can sleep when you want, no phisical exercizes, no stupid questions. I am sorry for the unlucky guys, but life is a lot better from this point of view.
    I feel stronger, smarter and self-sufficient.

    March 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Watching

    Tim: be aware that salerno is a DESERTER. And has confessed to be PROUD to be a deserter. Therefore his comments have no merit.

    March 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I did not confess. I CLAIMED.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ibn al-Nafis

      our village idiot/DESERTER wants to split hairs......... claim or confess....whatever. Desertion is still desertion.

      Synonyms for claim: affirm, allege, assert, aver, avouch, avow, contend, declare, insist, maintain, profess, protest, purport, warrant, put forth

      Synonyms for confess: accede, accept, acquiesce, allow, avow, come clean, come out of closet, concede, cop a plea, crack*, declare, fess up, get off chest, grant, let on, open up, own, profess, recognize, yield

      March 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Ibn -IDIOT quoting other idiots. Confession is acknoledging a guilt, often after interrogation, while claim is spontaneous and referring to something positive.

        March 27, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Watching

    Tim: be aware that salerno is a DESERTER. And has confessed to be PROUD to be a deserter. Therefore his comments have no merit. But you, of course, must decide how to respond (or not).

    March 26, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      A deserter is smarter, stronger, more free, and relaxed.

      March 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pamiri

    You know yourself better to whom I am saying that all atrocities in Afg since long period is because of your ignorance and being slaves of Pak,Russsia, Iran, Arabia and other far and near countries that you are very infamous in doing services for them to destroy our county and you all and your backing ( supporters ) have to know that we are here the son of the soil with more than 5000 years history of the country and we would not let you to destroy more our country to make happy Pak, Iran , Russia, Saudi Arabia and your other Badaran, do you understood? Salerno and the people are same to you

    March 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      TALIBAN WERE TRAINED BY THE US, AND HAQQANI WAS RECEIVED AT WHITE HOUSE BY REAGAN

      March 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Hello all posters, I have read these post with great interest. I applaud your conversation in this most complex and important matter.
      I write this post with a heavy heart, early here in a Virginia morning as I was unable to sleep. My youngest son, he is 32, served his country in peace time many years ago at age 18. He completed his service and began his life in California. He has decided to reenlist in the Army reserves. His reasons are many but include education benefits for serving. He will be deployed to Afghanistan. He is bright, handsome, and a really good man. He is loved.
      My heart is heavy for several reasons. First, due to his job situation, it was me that suggested he consider reenlisting in the Army reserves. If something happens to him while he serves, I will have to live with that. Look at his siblings and his mother, knowing that I had a part in his decision to leave the safety of his country for one torn in war.
      Secondly, I am right-wing. I am a great supporter of our way of life. I believe our freedoms make people want to succeed and I feel all people in the world should be free to improve, not be oppressed, and be able to provide for their family. Free to practice their religion without fear of government repercussions. Free to make choices that help to ensure their children will have a better life. I welcome those who come legally to our country because we are a nation created by those who were oppressed and our diversity makes us a great nation of great people. With greatness comes great responsibility and I understand that but I am torn by America’s continued involvement globally of the affairs of other nations. Many in America and globally say our involvement is about Oil (for example). But we all know that America has vast oil right under our own land and in our waters. No, it is not really about oil. So, I ask myself would we (America) be better off if we just closed our borders, lived on trade and our natural resources and left other nations to fight for their own way of live as we did 1776. Keeping in mind that the early Americans were aided in our fight for independence by the French, when I consider the question should we be involved in the Middle East I must answer I don’t know.
      Clearly, the recent events in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, show a people who like we the early Americans decided, “We want our freedom.” I live freedom and so I understand that heart, that desire. I am just not sure it is my son’s job, my country’s job, to be part. I am sure God knows. I pray for my son, my country, and for the peoples of these nations.
      Thank you for reading.

      March 26, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Tim – I have no problem with right wing and american system, but I am contrarian to wars. You are wrong about oil as US is still addictive on foreign oil. We have huge reserves of Natural gas, and new drilling teqnuiqes (orizontal drilling and frackling) are allowing to reopen old oil well considered exhausted, but it is not enough and there is a problem of price. It is not cheap oil anyway.

        March 26, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        read "horizontal drilling and fracturing"

        March 26, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Salerno,
        Thank you for your comments. You are correct on many points. From my prespective I am not sure if our problem here in America is lack of oil or simply our own internal stuggles to drill for oil. Cleary, it is easier for us as a nation to put that ecological burden upon other nations such as Iraq. As a result nations such as CHina and America (big oil users)create a society of buying those willing to drill and sell (such as the ruling class in Saudi Arabia) and contirubute to those in the same country who dont have (such as the none ruling class). THerefore, I do think the world's oil users have helped (not caused) the problem. The intent of my post was merely to reflect a fathers concerns for his son, and an Americans concern for his nation, but one also of a man of faiths concern for those aross the world. I am not trying to be grand but as I have travled have found friends all over the world who only want what is best for their familes but not off the backs or at costs of life of others. I would be hopeful that if we pasted each other upon a road and were in need that you and I could be friends and not simply because of "who we are" be enemies. The best to you my friend. Tim

        March 26, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        I appreciate your ideas as a human beings, god bless those all who work for the people through help support them and protect them, and shame to those even they called themselves Muslim but they are the slave of outsiders like Pak, Russia and etc

        Best of luck from Kabul

        March 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Pamiri,

        Thanks you for your kind words. Bless the peoples of the Middle East as they strive for freedom. Bless you and your family.

        March 27, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. salerno

    I am proud to be a deserter. I was ready to shot my comandant, as the military officials are stupids.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dindy

    Bangash.....why I need any one"s dollars when God has blessed with me with abundance in my Land. People here neded me more than USA. I had to pray for my country first and I did. Now only I pray for other countries. I now you dnt appreciate it. Just fine.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dindy

    Bangash....hello .....no body make your country hell just yesterday. It was hell before anyone went there from a America. I dont have to kill my son or anyone to get a green card if I need. There is always possibility . You better know Sri lanka is not poor like India or Pakistan. My vacations I spend in USA and I have things to take care here... This is nothing to do with green card . This was not my choice that my son is in Army. Yet You Tribes who are proud ..,where were you when soviet invaded?

    March 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Dindy – Ask to Pamiri or Riza where they were, not to Bangash, idiot.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        My close relatives were against soviet invasion in Afghanistan and they fought against soviet till they defeat the soviet regime not in Afg but also in all the world we discredited the soviet and we would be against them all at, because the soviet is in the background of chaotic in Afg same as PAK and their slaves in Afg. I am so pinpointed that why I could not fight against soviet because as soviet invaded in Afg I was born as the same time. We proud that we defeat soviet and we are defeating Taliban Aqaeda and their supporters who they are Karzai or others

        March 25, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • BANGASH

      DINDY you are strange, full of ignorance and contradictions. You love Srilanka while your son is serving in US army and you too, mostly like to live in USA. We love Srilanka and Srilankan as we are time tested friends due to identical problems and history but you might be among the financially corrupt families in Srilanka who loot national wealth and then settle their businesses in USA. Same problems we here in Pakistan and Afghanistan have when see our own sons and daughters, singing the songs of Pentagon just for the luxuries they enjoy there. DINDY very shamelessly you are praying for success in US wars all over the world and you feel proud that your one son is part of US war Machine then at the same time you speak of peace and atrocities of Taliban in Afghanistan, totally ignoring US aggressive designs and killings in this region. DINDY we do not condemn USA just for killing us but you see what they are doing to their own country and people. No doubt America is a land of opportunities but to avail these opportunities one has to do more hard work and pay taxes to run the system. The money spent on wars in the world is this hard earned money of US citizens which they contribute to get peace, security and comforts at home. But today Americans lives all over the world are at risk due to this misuse of US public money. DINDY recent UN survey revealed that half of the billions of dollars spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, if had been spent on human welfare in the world it would have enabled every individual on the earth to get clean drinking water, free education and food. This is a difference and you asses who is anti USA or enemy of USA and who is friend.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The point made by Bangash is very true and very important. I too tried to point out it. The problem is that american people is twisted by propaganda and military rhetoric, the soldiers killed are not so many after all, and they are voluntaree, so most people can avoid to be touched by the war. The US debacle is a slow process and it will take another 10-20 years to be really visible.
        In the mean time a few elite of people are profiting from the war at the espense of the average americans.
        When the dollar will lose the currency reserve status because of the US deficit and political isolation everyone will see and pay the price.

        March 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. salerno

    Dindy – I am free and can live in any country of the world without problem. Globalization makes this possible, but I am offended by the violence our countries are causing with those military operations, and by the stupidity of the people like your sons.
    Nobody asked them to enlist.

    March 24, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Dindy

      I think you have no children or you are not married. May be you are gay. Take your dirty mouth away from my children you coward. You may be a gay who has no guts to join army. Stupidity is not my sons bugger it is your hate.toward s the land you eat and sleep. Traitor .Get out from US soil.

      March 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Dindy – I am protected by US laws and international laws. I am owner of part of the American pie. Your sons are cowards like all the US soldiers. I am able to protect myself without anyone giving me orders. I give orders to other. Got it ??

      March 25, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        Salerno, at least you should know who is coward? Who kills people or who protect people? And at least you have eyes and at least you must use your mind, that how many people killed in Bank by Taliban, was it right? Weren’t they human?

        March 25, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dindy

    Salerno....you Italian Slave...just for your Information ...my Country has everything for me and My parents have not migrated anywhere like your parents did. Leave my children alone you dirty coward who talk against the brave sons and daughters in America.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Pseudonym

      Dindy – he will eventually come to nothing. He has confessed to being a deserter so he has no pride or value. Ignore him, he is worthless.

      March 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dindy

        Pseudonym.........Yes..exactly.

        March 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I am PROUD to be a deserter. It is not a confession, but something to be proud, as it takes more courage than to fight against children.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        You mean all Taliban and Aqaeda is children???? It is so strange take care what you are saying, use you mind then comment

        March 25, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        I saw so many many children killed and so few AlQaeda members killed......

        March 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dindy

    We all must pray for Afghan people even after Int national forces leave. Because no weapon can win if they are not empowered in God. In this serious issue God will be with the innocent civilians in Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and Kazai if they try to oppress people again in the coming years. People must lift up the God"s name. It is good only some of the forces leave rather than all leaving at once. Must keep eye on what will happen and must pray daily for the remain forces and afghan innocent citizens.

    March 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Riza Afghan

    Thank you USA/NATO for the supports.

    I am sure our ANA of Afghanistan will keep the regions peaceful.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy

      People out side Afghanistan should not forget them and must keep and eye what will happen in the future also after all the forces leave.. Meanwhile all the peace loving people must increase praise and worship to God Almighty for the return of forces .It is very very important to ensure their security before they and on their leave. !!!!

      March 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John Reeder

    If we know were the talabian are.
    Why do we not send steath B2 bombers and destroy them. There families etc. We are at War. Save our service men

    March 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pamiri

    It is good that Afghans should hold their own security, but we have still a lot of challenges, like Taliban is there and also ministry of defense is Talibanized, because defense ministry is involved of most Pashtuns, who think like Taliban and recently have seen that they ANA is behaving with people like Taliban, in a small issue they are beating people, for example one day someone’s truck was slipped downside of the road and when we wanted to take it out of the mud by crane the ANA (they were Pashtuns) came, without any talking and asking they started beating of people who were trying to take the car out of mud and they were saying that Taliban is good that killing and beating people, like this many many events happened in the country, when you go to their high authority for persecutions they just ignoring you and warning you, they behave same as Taliban, we think now the country is not ready to take the control, Because Taliban has influence in ANA, first you should have impartial ANA than you can hand over the complete control to Afghans, otherwise that would be an irreparable compensations for all international communities!!! We believe its also the part of how to empowering Taliban by Karzai!

    From Kabul

    March 22, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Chicago, IL

      I believe that the ANA and ANP along with the people of Afghanistan will keep the Taliban and their terrorist allies at bay and if they cannot get them under control NATO is just around the corner and will show them no mercy as Karzai might!

      March 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BANGASH

      Afghans feel proud when speaking like an Afghan, not as Northern Afghan. Ahmad Shah Masood lived as an Afghan not as Northern Afghan otherwise he had every mean to create Northern Afghanistan. Unfortunately you few SAAG SHOI(in Afghanistan puppets of USA among Afghans) today in alliance with USA are mainly responsible for destroying Afghan national unity and integrity, by putting this world support against terrorism on wrong track by targeting the major and main ruling Pukhtoon tribe in the name of Taliban, ignoring the fact that more then 80% of Pukhtoon neither supported Taliban-Alqaida way of war, nor even support today. Pamiri remember you few from the North with support of whole world, have badly failed in fight with just 20% of what you blame as Pukhtoon Taliban therefore be Afghan, leave dependence on foreigners and work for the integrity of Afghanistan where every one of you have a lot to live with honor and dignity. This Dan and DINDY are probably immigrants with some foreign agenda against USA and they probably wish to see Americans buried in Afghan quagmire so that their contracts could continue but we in Afghanistan/Pakistan wish to see an immediate end to this GREAT GAME which for the last three decades have been bleeding us in our homes, streets and towns. So this hand over of Afghanistan to Afghans is the only way out of this quagmire

      March 24, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Bangash – you are right about Dan and Dindy. They are immigrant from Germany and Sri Lanka. One has a son in US army
        ( a way to get a green card and residence inside US), While Dan is very old with some Alzheimer-liked ementia, very common in US because of bad diet (too many animal fats).

        March 24, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        read "dementia"

        March 24, 2011 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Dindy

        Bangash.....Just do not speak about people if you dont know them well. you must be the immigrant here talking every thing against USA . I wonder whether you are really a man .

        March 24, 2011 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
      • BANGASH

        DINDY this is indeed difficult to show you on this page that I am a man however you have asked so I must tell that I am a tribesman well at my home in my motherland and what I write here has its own background which the narrow and prejudiced mind of you may not understand. You in greed for dollars and green card can not only kill your dear son in the inhuman wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but can burn whole America to ensure flow of dollars. Despite three decades long sufferings at the hands of American Govt we tribal here do not hate all Americans as we know that 64% Americans condemn their leaders for these atrocities, But we certainly hate war mongers like you and all others in USA who have made our life a hell for us in our homes.

        March 24, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        We are not saying you Aqaeda and Taliban its your behave and the way you are living in this nice and lovely world that god gave us to live in it, to respect to humanity and each others, to help each others, to be an human and to think as human and to do for the human beings, but to be honest which one of these mentioned characteristics do you and your all Pakhtuns and Paksitanies have, please say?

        March 25, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Dindy

      Pamiri..... good posts and well written.

      March 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ibn al-Nafis

    Best of news. Hope those in Afghanistan will be up to maintaining and increasing peace during and after the transition.

    March 22, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dindy

      correction....no body made....not make

      March 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |