Clinton in Kabul: Afghanistan Gets Special Status

Saturday, 07 Jul 2012 09:55 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

KABUL -- Washington declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally on Saturday, a largely symbolic status reinforcing its message to Afghans that they will not be abandoned as the war winds down.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the decision, made by President Barack Obama, during her unannounced visit to Kabul where she met President Hamid Karzai on the eve of a major donors' conference in Tokyo which will draw pledges for aid.

The status upgrade may help Afghanistan acquire U.S. defense supplies and have greater access to U.S. training as the Afghan army takes more responsibility for the country's security ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of most NATO combat troops.

"Please know that the United States will be your friend and your partner. We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan. Quite the opposite," Clinton told a press briefing with Karzai before jetting off to Tokyo.

Obama's decision meets a pledge he made on a visit to Afghanistan this year to upgrade Kabul to a special security status given to only a limited number of U.S. partners -- including close allies like Israel and Japan -- which are not members of NATO.

Participants at the Tokyo meeting are expected to commit just under $4 billion annually in development aid for Afghanistan at Sunday's meeting, though the central bank has said the country needs at least $6 billion a year to foster economic growth over the next decade.

This is on top of the $4.1 billion committed annually by NATO and its partners for Afghanistan's security forces, pledged at a Chicago summit in May.

U.S. officials with Clinton declined to say how much aid the United States would pledge, which has significantly reduced aid since the peak year of 2010 when more than $6 billion was given, two thirds from Washington.

DONOR FATIGUE, WAR WEARINESS

Now, donor fatigue and war weariness are taking their toll on how long the global community is willing to support Afghanistan, and there are fears that without financial backing, the country could slip back into chaos when foreign troops withdraw.

U.S. officials acknowledged that the trend lines for donating development aid were heading down.

Major donors and aid organizations have warned that weak political will and graft could prevent funds reaching the right people at a critical time, when fragile gains in health and education could be lost if funding does not continue.

Assuaging those fears, Clinton said: "We are well aware of [corruption] but this is an issue that the government and people of Afghanistan want action on."

For Afghanistan to one day stand on its own two feet, donors hope Sunday's Tokyo conference will win guarantees from Kabul to tackle graft and ensure accountability.

Participants at the Tokyo meeting are expected to commit just under $4 billion annually in development aid for Afghanistan at Sunday's meeting, though the central bank has said the country needs at least $6 billion a year to foster economic growth over the next decade.

This is on top of the $4.1 billion committed annually by NATO and its partners for Afghanistan's security forces, pledged at a Chicago summit in May.

U.S. officials with Clinton declined to say how much aid the United States would pledge, which has significantly reduced aid since the peak year of 2010 when more than $6 billion was given, two thirds from Washington.

DONOR FATIGUE, WAR WEARINESS

Now, donor fatigue and war weariness are taking their toll on how long the global community is willing to support Afghanistan, and there are fears that without financial backing, the country could slip back into chaos when foreign troops withdraw.

U.S. officials acknowledged that the trend lines for donating development aid were heading down.

Major donors and aid organizations have warned that weak political will and graft could prevent funds reaching the right people at a critical time, when fragile gains in health and education could be lost if funding does not continue.

Assuaging those fears, Clinton said: "We are well aware of (corruption) but this is an issue that the government and people of Afghanistan want action on."

For Afghanistan to one day stand on its own two feet, donors hope Sunday's Tokyo conference will win guarantees from Kabul to tackle graft and ensure accountability.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Dershowitz Challenges UK's Miliband: Would You Protect Great Britain Against Terrorism?

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 20:34 PM

Ed Miliband, who is the leader of Great Britain's Labour Party, wants to become Prime Minister following the next genera . . .

Michelle Obama to Heckler: 'We Love You'

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 22:23 PM

A heckler interrupted Michelle Obama several times during a speech Thursday, to which the first lady replied, "We love y . . .

McCain: Released Gitmo Detainees in Terror Leadership Roles

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 22:04 PM

Sen. John McCain says reports of 20-30 former Guantanamo detainees joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved