KABUL, Afghanistan – The military spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force and the spokesman for the NATO Senior Civilian Representative held a weekly press conference today to give an operational update on ISAF operations in Afghanistan.
Tony White and German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, provided an update on recent partnering operations with Afghan National Security Forces in combating insurgents in Afghanistan, June 6.
"ISAF's strategic effort here is building security by building Afghan capacity, particularly the Afghan National Security Forces," said Blotz. That's the foundation for security and sovereignty that will develop over time."
After Blotz spoke, White commented on the Peace Jirga, which ended on Friday.
"Ambassador Sedwill met with President Karzai yesterday to congratulate the President and pass his sincere appreciation to the Jirga delegates for a comprehensive and productive gathering that he believes will help bring the stability and the peace the Afghans are looking for," he said. "NATO welcomes the strong national message of peace and unity, which the Jirga has expressed. The Alliance will continue to work with the Afghan people to play our part in this critical peace process."
White went on to speak about the long-term goals of the partnership.
"President Karzai has the people's support to put together a formal reintegration and peace plan that will give those insurgents who want to be part of a peaceful Afghanistan the opportunity to live and work with dignity and hope," he said. "NATO and ISAF will continue to support this peace plan work that is so vital to this country's future."
An overview of ISAF operations was provided for each of the regional commands, including the Afghan-provided security at the Consultative Peach Jirga at RC Capital.
"The Jirga sent a very positive message to the opponents, encouraging them to embrace peace and return to a normal life, a life without violence and a chance to live and work as a respected Afghan under a constitution that will protect them," said White.
In RC East, the overview covered the success of the Afghan army command assault to secure Barg-e-Matal and construction solar wells in the Lal Por District.
RC North operations included partnerships with ANSF that are focused on security in the priority provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, Balkh and Faryab and the removal of three shadow governors in the Baghlan province between May 14 and June 2.
"The loss of three senior Taliban leaders in less than a month significantly impacts the insurgent groups' ability to conduct attacks on Afghans or coalition forces in the area," said Col. Wayne Shanks, ISAF public affairs officer.
At RC West, the command continues to focus its main effort in the north of its area, concentrating on Bala Morgab. In response to increasing insurgent activity in the region, the command is also conducting operations in Heart and Farah provinces.
And at RC South in Kandahar province, efforts are underway in Zharay, Panjwa'I and Arghandab Districts to protect the people from the insurgency. The Afghan National Police are conducting operations aimed at countering criminal activity and improving the public's perceptions of security across the city. One of these operations targeted an insurgent commander, Haji Amir, in the Dand District, May 30. Amir was the second most dangerous insurgent leader in Kandahar and had escaped from Sarposa prison in 2008. He was tasked with creating a series of improvised explosive device obstacles in anticipation of increasing operations in the region. After tracking the group for several days, Amir and several of his fighters were killed in a precision air strike May 30.