Pin It

Rebuilding a Nation 

by DOUG NADVORNICK and JOHN VLAHOVICH & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & A & lt;/span & fghan Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad will speak at the World Affairs Council of Spokane on March 1. Jawad spoke on the phone recently with The Inlander's Doug Nadvornick and John Vlahovich from Spokane Public Radio.

Q: Can you tell us about the security situation in Afghanistan? Which parts of the country are hot spots and which parts are safe?

A: We are facing increased terrorist activity, particularly in the south, next to the border with Pakistan. We anticipate that the amount of the terrorist activity and the resulting security challenges will increase as soon as the snow melts.

Q: Your country is working to rebuild itself. How that has gone since the September 11th bombings? How is Afghanistan a different country?

A: Today, more than 5.6 million Afghan children are back in school. Under the Taliban, a very small number of only male students were allowed to go to school. Today, more than 38 percent of all the students are girls. We have four million refugees who have returned back to Afghanistan. We have a Parliament where 28 percent of the members are women. We have had an economic growth rate averaging 20 percent in the past five years. But still we are not where we would like to be. The infrastructure was completely devastated. We are working on improving the capacity of the Afghan government to deliver services. We are working on building schools, clinics, roads and improving the daily life of the Afghan people.

Q: There are reports that Afghanistan requires more assistance from other nations. How much more additional aid do you think the country needs?

A: If you compare the average amount of assistance given to Afghanistan, it amounts to something like $57 per person, compared to $250 in Iraq or more than $600 in Kosovo. We hope the aid for the next five years will average around $5 billion a year. We are looking at our friends in the international community, not only the United States, but also the Europeans, the Gulf countries and Japan to help us out with this. There is a strong international consensus on the need to help Afghanistan, and we have been receiving substantial amounts of assistance.

Q: What about military assistance? Does Afghanistan still require help from the NATO countries?

A: If we are able to shut down the training camps outside Afghanistan sooner, we will not be needing additional troops from NATO. What is needed, according to the NATO commanders in Afghanistan, is a small increase in the number of the troops, something like 3,000 to 4,000 for the spring offensive. Hopefully after that, we will have an adequate number of Afghan soldiers and police forces trained to do the job. The long-term solution is to build the capacity of the Afghan security forces to train more Afghan army soldiers and more police forces.

Q: Do you think your country is to the point where it will stay a democracy, rather than fall back into Taliban hands?

A: The Taliban are not a serious threat to the government of Afghanistan or the political system in place. By terrorizing people into submission, the Taliban is only preventing the reconstruction process. They are burning schools, destroying clinics. But they are not a serious threat for the stability process, and they do not provide an alternative to what the Afghan government is doing.

Afghan Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad speaks at the World Affairs Council of Spokane on Thursday, March 1, at 6 pm in the Barbieri Courtroom at the Gonzaga Law School. Members, $5; non-members, $10; free, students.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Growing Pains
  • Growing Pains

    When the only constant is change itself, we'd best saddle up and make the most of it
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Access for Sale?
  • Access for Sale?

    Trail Mix: Clinton's shaky Foundation, Trump's questionable staffers
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Why I'm With Her
  • Why I'm With Her

    Ignore the chants: Hillary Clinton has earned America's trust from her life of public service
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment


election 2016

green zone


trail mix

Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation