Afghan Leaders, Village Elders Meet to Discuss Security
By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Sept. 18, 2008 Parliament leaders, village elders and other government officials attended a meeting Sept. 15 at the Glass House Jirga Center in the Mahmood Raqi district of Afghanistan’s Kapisa province to introduce a new National Directorate of Security and to discuss issues.
Government officials, village elders and people of Afghanistan’s Kapisa province gather Sept. 15, 2008, to introduce a new National Directorate of Security and discuss security issues. U.S. Army photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Kapisa Gov. Khuweja Abubaker and Army Col. Scott A. Spellmon, Task Force Warrior commander, addressed a crowd of 350 attendees. Both leaders talked about Afghans working together with the government to increase security.
“It is very hard when the enemy is hiding in the population like the weeds in the flower garden,” Abubaker said.
Coalition forces are resolved to help the Afghan government, Spellmon told the group. “There are still more enemies out there, and we will continue to pressure them,” he said.
Village elders welcomed the new National Directorate of Security, as the province has lacked a full-time NDS for some time. Abubaker said he hopes the addition of this office will greatly affect security in the province.
“The government of Kapisa, in conjunction with their coalition force partners, are making significant improvements in security throughout the province,” Spellmon said. “I agree with Governor Abubaker. The leaders and people of Kapisa have a window of opportunity to get behind the Afghan security forces and support their efforts in the local communities.”
Infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads and schools are in the works, designed to improve the lives of people in Kapisa, Spellmon said. A $6 million road from the capital of Kapisa to Nijrab and a $4 million dollar road from Nijrab to Sarobi represent two of the biggest development projects in the province.
“There are several new development initiatives now getting started in the province, and more will come as the security situation improves even further,” the colonel told the group. “The key to improved security is the support of the people for the government and the [Afghan security forces],” he said.
(Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves in the Task Force Warrior Public Affairs Office.)