18 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-198

Security meeting between Afghans,

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Yesterday, high-ranking officials from the Afghan Border Police (ABP), Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) met with commanders from International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) units during a regional security meeting held at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno, in Khowst province.

The regional security meeting was designed to synchronize the policing and military units operating within the Paktika, Paktya, Khost, Ghazni and Logar provinces which form the southern portion of Regional Command-East.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Khaliq, commander, 203rd Corps ANA, requested that ISAF host the two-day conference at the FOB, due to its central location and critical role in the security and development of eastern Afghanistan.  The cooperation between the units supports the development of a safe and secure Afghanistan, which is a priority of the developing government.

“We have all been empowered by this meeting,” said Maj. Gen. Abdul Khaliq, commander of the 203rd Corps of the ANA.  “It will give us better vision to conduct missions and secure this environment.”

“The meeting was very successful, and all Afghan security forces should implement similar planning meetings within their own units,” said Maj. Gen. Fatah, Eastern Regional Afghan National Police commander.

Over a two-day period, the leaders held open debates about the progress of Afghanistan and discussed possible future plans of action.  Attendees had the opportunity to discuss issues in seven- to nine-man discussion groups. 

Each group, based upon province, discussed in greater detail the concerns, security issues and overall assessment of each individual district within their province.  At the conclusion of the discussion, each group presented their assessment and ideas to the whole assembly for feedback.  

“This is not about the enemy,” said Army Col. Martin P. Schweitzer, commander of Task Force Fury.  “[Afghan] leadership understands what the real challenge is.  It’s developing greater capacities within Afghanistan, so that…people believe in [their] government leadership.”

Reconstruction efforts within Afghanistan have been a constant aim of both the Afghan government and ISAF leaders. 

Leaders also discussed the increasing capabilities of the ANA, the ABP, and the ANP as these organizations continue to grow and assume a lead role in all security missions.

“I think what’s occurred here in the last five weeks, with the doubling of coalition forces partnering with the Afghan National Security Forces, is that your ANSF are postured to defend your country,” Col. Schweitzer said.  “When you have the Afghan security forces taking the lead on the planning, to provide for a safer Afghanistan, it’s a very good day.”

In January, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it was enhancing the combat power in RC-East by splitting the battle space between two brigade combat teams as opposed to one, effectively doubling the force strength in the area.

“We know that this is good for us, that the ABP, ANA, ANP, ISAF and coalition forces have good cooperation together,” said Gen. Akram Samjh, commander of the 1st Brigade, 203rd Corps.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/