Transcript: Wardak & Mohammadi on U.S. investments & transition in Afghanistan

Transcript of Q&A with Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismella Mohammadi at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on April 12, 2012: 


“Jim Kunder with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Much of the external investment, the U.S. investment, has been in your two ministries. Are the rest of the ministries of the Afghan government – energy, water, health care, transportation – ready for transition? And if not, what needs to be done?”

Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak:

“Yeah, there is no doubt that we have received the bulk of the assistance, and a great deal. But all other ministry also have received aid in the past 10 years. And – but the reason for that was that security is a prerequisite for good governance, rule of law, building infrastructure and economic development. So there is a, I think, there is a – quite a good rationale for what have happened. And initially when we have developed the plan for transition, I think, we have already made three condition(s) for an area to be – to be transitioned. One was that there should be decreasing violence, as far as the security. Second was that there should be a good number of Afghan national security forces. And the third one was that there should be good governance, and there will be these activities of building infrastructure and economic development. But there is no doubt that we are a little bit more ahead of those other sectors.”

Afghanistan Interior Minister Bismella Mohammadi:

“There is no doubt that your information is quite precise. We have been the biggest consumers of that investment and as – I think any defense ministry or interior ministry under similar conditions would have the same level of consumption. But you do understand that an Afghan National Army and an Afghan National Police, which was completely destroyed and wiped out prior to the efforts started during the last decade, is a big task.

“I had the honor to fight against the Soviet invasion and resist against the Taliban invasion. I am still proud to be a soldier for my country. So I have seen all of this for many, many years, and my assessment is that, during the past 10 years – during the past 10 years, perhaps I was – I was afraid that we would not reach a number of security forces to the tune of 150(,000), 151,000. But it is a tremendously big deal because we had to stand up, from the grounds up, an Afghan National Army and an Afghan National Police. This effort, this monumental task required an equally monumental investment, but we are quite optimistic that this will decrease as time goes on because now we’re in a phase of sustaining those capabilities and those numbers in our security forces. We still have enablers that we need, but we are at a point of sustainment.

“And as the – his excellency the minister of defense mentioned, we – in the fields of agriculture, in the field of health services, field of energy, potable water, many great steps have been taken, strides have been made in the fields of education and, quite frankly, those are not enough. So we still have a long path to travel in order to obtain those goals.”



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One Comment on “Transcript: Wardak & Mohammadi on U.S. investments & transition in Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Remarks by Afghan Interior Minister Bismellah Mohammadi at the CSIS panel | What The Folly?!

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