Last year, in many ways in Afghanistan, I think there was a significant turning point in the country's history as we moved from the period of warfare and violence to a period of great political growth. (Transcript)
Lt. Gen. David W. Barno
Former Commander, Combined Forces Command- Afghanistan
AFGHANISTAN UPDATE AND AL-LIBI ARREST
Army Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry is the new commander of Combined Forces Command- Afghanistan, replacing Army Lt. Gen. David W. Barno. (Press Release)
Four events served as great victories for the Afghan people, and strategic defeats for terrorism. They were:
(1) The passage of the Afghan constitution in January 2004;
(2) Election registration - more than 10.5 million Afghans registered to vote in the October election;
(3) Election turnout - an estimated 8.5 million Afghans turned out to vote. They elected Hamid Karzai, and rejected terrorism.
(4) President Karzai's official inauguration in December, and his appointment of a cabinet soon after.
The reconciliation process is continuing in Afghanistan. Several senior Taliban members have moved forward in the last month to become part of President Karzai's "Strengthening Peace" program, a national reconciliation effort to convince people to put down their weapons and join in the country's political and economic progress.
The growth of Afghan security capacity is one of the positive developments in the country.
- More than 22,000 Afghan National Army soldiers have been trained, and more than 25,000 could be on line by the national assembly elections, now set for fall. Police numbers now stand at approximately 35,000.
- The National Military Academy of Afghanistan opened in March. The academy will train and develop generations of leaders for the ANA.
The arrest of Abu Faraj al-Libi, al Qaeda's number three person, represents a critical victory in the war on terror. President Bush applauded the Pakistani government and President Musharraf for their cooperation in the war on terror, and for acting on solid intelligence to bring al-Libi to justice. Al-Libi took over many of Khalid Shayk Mohammad's duties after his arrest in March and was behind multiple assassination attempts against President Musharraf.
Culture of Innovation video
Self-aware, adaptive leaders' and Soldiers' role in the Army's transformation is the subject of the new Adapt or Die: Culture of Innovation video now available online at www.army.mil/professionalvideo. Produced by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the video stresses that senior leaders to junior-enlisted Soldiers have responsibility in transforming the Army via a culture of innovation while fighting the Global War on Terrorism.
Click here to watch Adapt or Die.