On May 12th, U.S. President Barack Obama met in Washington with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. They took the opportunity to, as President Obama said, "assess the progress of our shared strategy in Afghanistan, and to advance the strong partnership between our two nations, one that’s based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
President Obama re-affirmed the "shared goal" to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies: "We are reviewing the progress of our shared strategy and objectives: a military effort to reverse the Taliban’s momentum and to strengthen Afghanistan’s capacity to provide for their own security; a civilian effort to promote good governance and development; and regional cooperation, including with Pakistan, because our strategy has to succeed on both sides of the border."
"We have taken the fight to the Taliban in Helmand Province, pushed them out of their stronghold in Marja, and are working to give Afghans the opportunity to reclaim their communities," said President Obama.
At the same time, American diplomats and civilian experts, in areas such as governance, agriculture and communications, are now on the ground and partnering with their Afghan counterparts in support of the civilian effort which constitutes the second part of the strategy.
"Meanwhile, the training and development of Afghan security forces continue so that they can begin to take the lead in security next year," said President Obama.
"Our solidarity today sends an unmistakable message to those who would stand in the way of Afghanistan’s progress," said President Obama. "They may threaten and murder innocent people, but we will work to protect the Afghan people. They will try to destroy, but we will continue to help build Afghan capacity and allow Afghans to take responsibility for their country.
"Together, we can unleash Afghanistan’s vast potential."