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Afghanistan must bridge credibility gap: Bildt

Afghanistan must bridge credibility gap: Bildt

Published: 11 Nov 2009 15:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Nov 2009 15:39 GMT+01:00

With Kabul's credibility in serious question, Swedish foreign minster Carl Bildt has called on Hamid Karzai to instigate widespread reforms during his second term as president of Afghanistan.

"The last few months have been not good. We have been bordering disaster in terms of credibility," Carl Bildt told AFP in an interview during a visit to Kabul.

Sweden holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

"We now need to restore credibility in the process, restore confidence internally and externally. That needs to be done and can be done."

Karzai will be inaugurated for a second five-year term on November 19 in a ceremony attended by local and foreign dignitaries, officials said Wednesday.

The president will likely announce his cabinet two weeks after the swearing-in, said an official from his office.

"What we are first expecting is a strong reform statement by the president on his inauguration", followed by the formation of a government with "competent ministers", Bildt said.

Massive fraud that marred the August 20 presidential election highlighted the scale of corruption in Afghanistan's government and has led to enormous international pressure on Karzai's new administration to clean up graft.

Election officials declared him the winner this month when his challenger abandoned a run-off.

EU nations contribute €1 billion ($1.5 billion) annually to Afghanistan and have 35,000 soldiers, including 500 Swedes, in the country.

More than 100,000 NATO and US-led troops are helping the government battle a Taliban insurgency at its deadliest since US-led troops toppled the Islamist regime eight years ago.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:43 November 11, 2009 by Nemesis
There is no credibility gap. The Afghanisatan government and US administration there have absolutely no credibility at all. There is nothing to bridge the gap with.

The only way to sort the mess in Afghanisatan out is to completely remove all the government structures and start over again. That includes removing all US administrators.

Europeans need to be put in charge until the situation is stabalised. That may take 15 to 30 years in the case of Afghanisatan.

There needs to be at least another 100,000 to 150,000 combat troops on the ground. We need at least 200,000 troops there at any time to stabilise the situation, with more on standby in case of an insurgency, so as to quickly annihilate it.

Any weapon seized, there is a simple to solution to tracking it. We need to take note of the serial numbers and start arresting the weapon sellers. If the factory does not give the sellers details, there is simple solution to that. We carpet bomb the factory without warning, no matter what country it is in. After the first weapon factory is carpet bombed, details of sellers will be handed over very quickly. Then we can stop the supply of weapons to insurgents in Afghanisatan.

The drug dealing that is funding the war needs to be completely eradicated.

All opium fields need to be incinerated, without exception, no matter how inconvenient it is to politicians and security forces.

Any soldier, official or politician turning a blind eye to growing opium, including those from allied governments, needs to be arrested, tried and jailed for dealing drugs. No mercy should be given.

Any farmer agreeing to burn there crops, needs to have modern farmhouses built and all machinery on the farm updated to modern standards. Any farmer not burning there opium crops needs to have there land confiscated and mined with non detectable mines, to prevent it being farmed for opium again.

Any politicans making excuses for not tackling the drug dealing in Afghanisatan and trying to say it is not about drugs, should be arrested, tried and jailed for drug dealing.

Drug dealers are drug dealers. It does not matter if they are street seller, couriers, refiners or growers. They are all the same thing, drug dealers who are filling our streets with death.

Since the US created this mess in the first place they should pay for all of it.

The game playing in Afghanisatan needs to stop.

Talk to any returning soldier, they will all tell you about the opium fields. Some will show the pictures were they are posing with people cutting the opium poppies. That opium is funding killing our soldiers and filling our streets in Europe with heroin. That opium is making the Taliban who are now the world's biggest drug dealing cartel, very rich. We need to put a hard stop to the drug dealing organisation called the Taliban.

The carrot and stock approach I just outlined would he the best approach in my opinion.
07:52 November 12, 2009 by Marc the Texan
They need development more than anything else. Pay every able bodied man and boy to build roads, schools, houses and other infrastructure. They get paid a good afghan wage, work their 9ss off all day long, so they are too tired at the end of the day to worry about carrying a gun around and looking for trouble. On top of that, once these guys have been building this stuff with their own blood, sweat and tears; they aren't going to be interested in blowing it up and won't tolerate local troublemakers blowing it up either. You can hire a huge portion of the afghan population for much cheaper than keeping a large military force over there. All these public works will also stimulate a huge amount of entrepreneurialism in a wide variety of industries. After a few years, Afghanistan will have basic third world infrastructure, local industry, services and a population trained with a modern work ethic. The basic level of infrastructure will ramp up Afghan productivity to higher than they've ever had it before. It will still be third world, but it will function and a suitable place for profitable foreign direct investment.

Problem solved! (well it's a start;)
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