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Ten years on in Afghanistan

Friday, October 07, 2011 - 03:34

Oct. 7 - As the 10 year anniversary in Afghanistan is marked, military officials say reconciliation is the key to the future. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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Some ten years after the war in Afghanistan was launched Americans soldiers are still on patrol. NATO-led forces fighting in Afghanistan last month reported a drop in the number of "security incidents", a stark contrast to a U.N. report released the same week that said the country had become significantly more insecure in 2011. Major General Carsten Jacobson in Kabul was made available to Reuters by the Pentagon. SOUNDBITE: Major General Carsten Jacobson, saying: (English): "The picture is a lot brighter than it was10 years ago, but there is still work to do." The progress of the war in Afghanistan has been heavily contested by Afghans themselves and the different groups in Afghanistan, from the foreign military to the United Nations. There is a mixed picture on the ground. NATO forces have tightened their control of former Taliban strongholds in the south. But Taliban influence is spreading in the once-peaceful north and west, and insurgents have carried out a string of high profile assassinations, most recently of a former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, the man who was working on reconciliation with the Taliban. SOUNDBITE: Major General Carsten Jacobson, saying: (English): "Now the mastermind of reconciliation, the figure head of reconciliation was professor Rabbani. And he has been killed in a very cowardly act, but somebody who nobody know was responsible for . Neither Haqqani nor the Taliban have announced their responsibility and to be quite frank, such a cowardess act of breaking, breaching every rule of hospitality of bringing a bomb in a turban into a house of a 72-year old man who only wants to bring peace to his country is nothing that anybody can be proud of. So, this is a set back but perhaps there is something good in it. Because only in the non recognition by Haqqani and by Taliban we see that they might be embarrassed by this act and that there might be hope for Afghanistan in the future." Jacobson says the way forward in Afghanistan is through reconciliation. SOUNDBITE: Major General Carsten Jacobson, saying: (English): "Reconciliation at the end of the day is the only way to end the insurgency. The people of Afghanistan have to come to peace with themselves. They have to come to peace with those who are fighting the insurgency but ar not choosing to fight the end, because that is their only option, to die or to be detained The only other option is to reintegrate come back into the peace process in Afghanistan. reconciliation is a process that is of vital importance, and i think all of the factions of Afghanistan know that. At the end there is no military solution to this, but there has to be a political solution. More than 2,700 foreign forces have died in Afghanistan since the war was launched 10 years ago. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Ten years on in Afghanistan

Friday, October 07, 2011 - 03:34