News: Relative stability in Herat model for Afghan nation
Story by Master Sgt. Kevin Wallace
HERAT, Afghanistan - Relative stability in Herat province and security necessities in southern Afghanistan were stressed during NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan’s visit to Camp Arena, Herat province, Dec. 6, 2011.
Ambassador Mark Sedwill, the former British ambassador to Afghanistan, spoke about progress made in Herat being the reason behind increased national projects in the region.
“We continue to see results here in the west due to efforts from the Italian government and civilian communities,” said Sedwill during a press conference at Camp Arena. “[Herat] will get better roads, schools, clinics, and most importantly, better security.”
Sedwill stressed that it is important to remember how far the Afghan Security Forces have come in the past few years, stating,
“We’ve seen them grow in size and capability, and will see continued growth past 2011.”
Not only are plans in place to increase the size of Afghan forces, but vast initiatives are underway to improve their quality. 90 percent of Afghan army units are now partnered with ISAF forces, and even a higher percentage of Afghan Police units are also benefiting from the relatively new ISAF-Mentorship Program.
That means more money spent on development will be available in Herat.
“Since Herat province is relatively stable and benefits from national programs, while other non-stable provinces need specific programs and must spend more of their funding on stability … the overall situation in the west is much better,” said Sedwill.
Afghans must be more involved in the few volatile districts in Herat and for other hot beds of insurgency elsewhere in Afghanistan.
“As we gradually bring security to a district, it must be a step-by-step process,” said Sedwill. “Once security is complete, development can follow. Local people need to help their own security by helping to identify and drive the Taliban [out of their villages, towns and cities.]”
Perhaps if more people get involved, then the relative stability and ongoing development projects developing in Herat province can also happen elsewhere.