November 30th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Afghan progress being made despite tragic incidents, NATO leader says

Incidents similar to this week's fatal shooting of six U.S. troops should not overshadow the progress American forces have made in turning security over to the Afghans, NATO's supreme commander says.

The six were shot Monday by a gunman wearing an Afghan Border Police uniform.

Last summer, two U.S. civilians and an Afghan soldier were reported shot to death by another Afghan soldier. A "rogue" Afghan policeman was blamed for the November 2009 shootings deaths of five British troops in Helmand province.

"Afghanistan is going to be a roller coaster," Adm. James Stavridis, NATO's supreme commander, said Monday. "We're going to see ups and downs. I see gradual, steady progress in Afghanistan, and I remain cautiously optimistic that we're going to succeed in Afghanistan. And I think one of the keys is transition. It is turning security over to the Afghans themselves."

Monday's shooting occurred during a training mission in eastern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a news release. The gunman was also killed in the incident, ISAF said.

A joint ISAF and Afghan team is investigating. The military said Tuesday it was awaiting information from its initial assessment team.

"Today we have 265,000 active Afghan police and Afghan army," Stavridis said. "We're going to build that number to about 300,000."

"Are we going to have incidents like the tragedy we had today? Yes, but the great sweep of progress in terms of the improvement of the Afghan security forces continues, and I see it most vividly at the moment in Helmand and Kandahar, where 60 percent of the operations are conducted by Afghans," he said. "That's a major improvement over 18 months ago when I took over. So I think we'll continue to see progress, albeit with the kind of incidents and tragedies that we face today."

Stavridis said he has faith in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's regime to help further that progress.

"I take great stock in President Karzai's presentation at the summit in Lisbon [Portugal], where he pledged to begin the transition to 2011 and continue it to its conclusion, we hope, in 2014" to an Afghan-led operation, he said. "So I am confident in the intent, and I see real progress across the spectrum of training the Afghan security forces."

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to start withdrawing some U.S. troops from Afghanistan next July. Officials have said the goal is to end combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Karzai • NATO
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Smith in Oregon

    America's 'shake and bake' strategy in Marjah, tried and FAILED. Hand picked Karzai Regional Governors didn't show up.
    America's 'shake and bake' strategy in Kandahar tried and FAILED. Hand picked Karzai Regional Governors very few showed up, they all quickly LEFT.

    Two attempts, Two FAILURES.
    Sound like progress??

    Oh you mean the skyrocketing Heroin export business, YEP that is progressing adding Hundreds of Billions of dollars to the Mexican Drug Cartels who smuggle that into America. IS that progress in America's best interest? IS that progress serving to protect all Americans? IS that progress helping provide America's National Security?

    Oh you mean the 700+ Billion in dollars PER YEAR poured into Afghanistan off the backs of the tired American taxpayers, consisting of Billions in cash poured into the pockets of War Lords, Drug Lords, Pakistani Taliban Commanders as huge bribes? That appears to be progressing very well.

    YES, those sacks and PALLETS of freshly minted Hundred Dollar bills are American currency fresh from the US Mint's, delivered by the US Military Commanders on the US Military cargo planes handed out in huge amounts to War Lords, Drug Lords even the Pakistan Taliban commanders as bribes.

    Repeated reports of PALLETS of freshly minted Hundred Dollar bills delivered by US Military Cargo planes to the Dubai bankers. ALL THE WHILE OFF THE BACKS OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS languishing to save their homes, find jobs and place their children in run-down public schools with questionable fresh water to drink.

    Osama bin Ladin is long gone, Al Qaeda fewer than 100 reported in all of Afghanistan. Israel is chomping for America to attack Iran and now the Zionist propaganda machine is attacking the King of Saudi Arabia alleging funding to Al Qaeda. Oh, Israel appears to have a great many great conquests for America to climb in bed with, war after war.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Smith,when the Afghans stop chanting "Allah Akbar" and start chanting "Allah Akbar,but Capitalism Akbar-er" that's when the NATO forces will consider their "mission" a success and when they start doing it in English,they'll consider that a crowning achievement!

      December 3, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gary Johndro

    The more of this "progress" we make,the better. YABBA-DABBA-DOO!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dindy..

    (Correction) It is not 360 od...But 360 God.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. dindy..

    Riza ...connect with God almighty every day ,seek lord in spirit ..lord is so powerful than any man made things . God never abandoned the people who seek lord. Also god watch over the crowd and punish whom god love . like a father in a family. May God "s peace be with you !!!

    November 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dindy..

    Riza........May God Bless and Protect you all innocent ,unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. May God "s peace be yours and your country people soon !!Amen.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Riza Afghan

    dammit, you are such a big idiot !!!!!!!!!!
    I am Afghan living in Kabul – AFG, why should i pretend to be an Afghan.
    Come to Kabul you stupid Terrorist and see Kabul, it's peaceful then Pakistan you stupid f00k.

    Stupid of you, you are a blind extremist, go f00k yourself stupid f00king f00k.

    You are just a stupid f00k and that's really what you are.

    November 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    When you accept Jesus as your Savior you acknowledge that you are a sinner and with the Holy Spirit within you you turn away from sin as for your truth of 360 degrees you do not acknowledge that you sin and you do it without fear of God! If I were you I would stop all the hatred and killings because of their beliefs and begin to look inward to myself and see how the Lord would want me to behave towards others and begin to learn to love one another instead of holding all this hatred within yourself.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      How am I not showing Him any respect when I have faith that He is God? I do not associate him with the Egyptians nor the Pharisees, you are the one who does all the lying about who He was and what He lived for! You are a false teacher of Christ our Lord Jesus and will pay the price for turning His children away from Him!

      November 30, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Yes I do believe that most of the Afghan people want a civilized nation here in the 21st century, not one of cruel 6th century laws and punishments which gives no human rights or freedoms for it's people.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      I guess that the right-wing thugs in Washington are tickled pink over hearing this! It looks like we'll never get out of there,or at least in my lifetime to my chagrin. Besides,Pfunnie boy(Bledsoe)'s bound to get a lot more laughs than he could before!!! How repulsive!!!

      November 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        November 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        See,what did I tell you from the above blog? This Pfunnie boy never fails!

        November 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        You got that right Dan! He never does! He thinks that we're all funny,especially those of us in the service.

        November 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        December 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jesse Cook


        December 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |