WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an op-ed in The Hill today, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Senior Fellow General Jim Jones (ret.) said that U.S. troop increases in Afghanistan have positively impacted the country's stability, but that long-term progress will require Afghans to take more responsibility for their own nation.
With the death of Osama Bin Laden and the decline of al Qaeda's operational success, Jones says much of what the United States had hoped to accomplish in Afghanistan has been achieved. He credits the "40,000-man increase in international forces" with improving security in the country and writes that "today an additional 80,000 Afghan soldiers are now receiving military training and are gaining in anti-terrorism expertise." However, Jones reiterates the need for Afghan leaders to establish reliable institutions and public trust:
"It is unfortunate, and very hurtful to our bilateral relations, to observe the continuing lack of progress in developing an Afghan national "rule of law" and any semblance of a commitment to fight corruption, a national illness left conspicuously unaddressed by [President Hamid] Karzai, despite repeated international entreaties over many years," Jones writes in the op-ed.
"We cannot want for the Afghans that which they do not want for themselves," Jones writes. "In a sense, we are now looking for what is good enough for this country, and we will soon know what that is. In the meantime, we should continue to demonstrate unity of purpose in trying to shape the very best Afghanistan we can."
Click here to read the full op-ed.
Click here to read Gen. Jones' May op-ed in The Wall Street Journal: "America's Freedom Opportunity in the Middle East"
Jones also serves as a co-chair of BPC's Energy Project.
About the Bipartisan Policy Center:
Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, the BPC combines politically-balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. For more information, please visit our website: www.bipartisanpolicy.org.
SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center