Wednesday, February 20, 2019

CNN Anchor, Fareed Zakaria’s Conversation With President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani During World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting (2019) In Davos, Switzerland.

Fareed Zakaria:  How would you respond the people in America, maybe another western countries that have sent troops for seventeen years; this has gone on for 17 years. What have we got now different? We have failed in some sense, they would argue.

President Ghani: No, absolutely, but the first thing is, the United States is not there because it is fighting in Afghanistan. It is fighting for its security. Second, we have engaged in a very open dialogue. The United States as a sovereign power, as a global power, is entitled to leave. But we need to get the departure right. Are the fundamental reasons that brought the United States to Afghanistan—are those objectives accomplished? The first issue is cost. We completely agree that the cost must come down, must become more efficient. So the first thing I request is that everything under the sun should not be built under the war in Afghanistan. When the U.S. navy needs money, when the US army needs money, the U.S. Air Force, it bills it under Afghanistan. What is the cost of the war in Afghanistan?

Second, the number of troops. We are engaged in a discussion, we had initiated this to see that the number corresponds the essential needs, because every U.S. soldier essential at least cost a million dollars a year. On making it more efficient—this is crucial. And we understand that our relationship is based on mutual interest which flows from mutual threats on the one hand, and mutual goals on the other.

So my answer first, I pay tribute to every mother and father who have lost their children in Afghanistan. This has included the highest levels of government, like Secretary Kelly, chief of staff, who lost his son in Helmand.

Second, over a million American soldiers, men and women in uniform, have seen action in Afghanistan; we pay tribute. But the job that we started together needs to move.

Thirdly, since I have become president, a hundred thousand troops left. Over 45,000 Afghan security personnel have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The number of international casualties is less than 72. So it shows you who is doing the fighting, and the support is mutual. We need to get a stable Afghanistan as an entity that can ensure security of America and Europe and others on the one hand, but more fundamentally our own democratic rights and institutions and our right to live in peace and harmony. - Read More


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