"We have made great strides in building the Afghan security forces,” said Brigadier General James Champion of the U.S. Army Joint Task Force in Afghanistan. “Today we have over a twenty-four-thousand-man-strong army in operational units throughout the country and five-thousand more in training,” he said.
General Champion said the U.S. has agreed to contribute nine-hundred-million dollars in recently allotted funds to assist the Afghan National Police. More than forty-one-thousand police officers are now serving with the Afghan National Police and some nine-thousand more are in training.
The U.S. continues to assist with reconstruction and development in Afghanistan. In Kunar and Nangarhar provinces in northeast Afghanistan, over five-thousand Afghans are employed in a variety of reconstruction projects.
Over one-thousand-five-hundred men, women, and children recently received medical care from U.S. forces. Remote villages in areas that have never had water now have wells. And a commercial trade school is planned for Nangarhar to train Afghans needed job skills.
In the central eastern portion of Afghanistan more than three-thousand Afghans are working on development projects. Significant improvements are being made to roads and highways. These projects are expected to improve security and promote trade and commerce in the region.
The U.S. is assisting in the establishment of a provincial government complex to serve the previously isolated Bermel Valley. In Oruzgan province, U.S. and coalition forces are refurbishing schools. Numerous wells are being planned to provide fresh water to remote villages. The Afghan National Police have taken over the primary security role for Oruzgan. General Champion said these police officers “are clearly demonstrating their ability to conduct large-scale and coordinated operations” against insurgents.
In Zabul and northern Kandahar provinces, major reconstruction projects are underway, including the Tarin Kowt to Kandahar road. Less than thirteen kilometers remain to complete this one-hundred-twenty-two-kilometer highway. More than one-thousand Afghans are working in Nimroz and Helmand provinces on projects that include flood planning and disaster relief.
“Afghanistan’s past has been marked by war and hatred,” said General Champion. “U.S. and coalition forces are working and fighting hard each day in partnership with the Afghan government, Afghan security forces and the Afghan people to ensure that it will not be part of Afghanistan’s future.”
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.