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2009年3月29日 (日)

アフガン新戦略 「対テロ連携」の再構築を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 29, 2009)
U.S. Afghan strategy requires intl support
アフガン新戦略 「対テロ連携」の再構築を(3月29日付・読売社説)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Friday a comprehensive strategy for U.S. Afghan policy that marks a major change from the past one and he declared his aim to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaida."

In Afghanistan, Al-Qaida and the Taliban--the nation's former rulers--have been increasing their military offensive, resulting in expansion of their sphere of control.

As they have established operational bases in Pakistan, an Afghan neighbor, the U.S. operations to wipe them out from Afghanistan have been beset with difficulties.

If the terrorists are left unchecked, we may see another tragedy similar to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Driving the radical forces from Afghanistan and stabilizing the country is an important issue for not only the Obama administration but also for the entire international community.


New guideline on tackling terror

The new U.S. strategy will serve as the guideline for the U.S. administration as it fights terrorism. A key aspect of the strategy is its call for concrete achievements to be made in various fields, including military and reconstruction assistance as well as diplomacy. It also indicates a desire to strengthen cooperation with the international community.

In the military field, about 4,000 additional U.S. troops will be sent to the country to train the Afghan National Army and police force. Combined security force numbers in Afghanistan are set to increase by 60,000 to about 220,000 by 2011. This is seen as an attempt by the United States to bring about an end to Afghanistan's dependence on other nations for its security and to realize a U.S. military withdrawal from the country in the future.

Obama decided in February to deploy 17,000 troops to Afghanistan for the purpose of wiping out terrorists and maintaining security there. U.S. troops stationed in the country will swell to about 60,000, an increase that is a reasonable reaction to the aggravated security situation in Afghanistan.  先月には、テロ掃討や治安維持を目的に1万7000人の米軍増派を決定している。駐留米軍は6万人規模に膨らむ。アフガンの状況悪化に対応した措置である。

To aid the civilian population, the new strategy stipulates a beefing up of the number of U.S. experts in administrative, judicial, agricultural and other fields by several hundreds and an expansion of U.S. support for Afghan reconstruction. This is mainly designed to improve the Afghan government's ability to govern, prevent corruption and reinforce the national economic base--undercutting terrorism at its roots.

However, it is uncertain to what extent the new strategy can be effective in producing results in the complicated social situation that exists in Afghanistan, a multiethnic country where national reconciliation is fraught with difficulties. In August, a presidential election is scheduled. As the new strategy's first test, efforts must be made to ensure it proceeds smoothly.

Financial assistance to Pakistan also is an important pillar of the new strategy. The United States will extend 1.5 billion dollars in direct support to the Pakistani people every year for the next five years.

Pakistan's cooperation is indispensable for the complete removal of terrorist forces' operation bases in the country. However, the administration of President Asif Ali Zardari is being hounded by the opposition and the nation's political situation is quite unstable. Urgent steps must be taken to stabilize Pakistan.


U.S. call to share the burden

The United States plans to ask Japan and European nations to take on an appropriate share of the burden for the stabilization of Afghanistan at an international conference to be held Tuesday in the Netherlands, while at an April 17 meeting in Tokyo on assistance for Pakistan, nations also will be asked to make a similar commitment.

Japan already has announced financial support worth 2 billion dollars for Afghanistan, the third largest pledge after the United States and Britain. The Japan International Cooperation Agency and nongovernment organizations, among others, also have been contributing personnel to the country. It is important that Japan further reinforces such support programs in the future.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 29, 2009)
(2009年3月29日02時14分  読売新聞)


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