Posts Tagged ‘Hamid Karzai’

The chapter title is homage to Richard Holbrooke whose book by that title recounted his negotiations to end hostilities in the Balkans, also his objective in his oversight of the Af-Pak region.  Explaining that insurgencies rarely end with the surrender of a side but rather as a result of persistent diplomacy, Hillary states that from the start she insisted that the needs and concerns of Afghan women be taken into account, an issue she raised at the March 2009 Conference on Afghanistan.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary: The Hague Afghanistan Conference


A major objective in all diplomatic dealings on Afghanistan was the goal of peeling off the less ideological among the Taliban and winning them over to the mainstream government, a controversial policy that Hillary defends staunchly in this chapter.  Referring to statements she made at the London Conference on Afghanistan in January 2010,  she cites the conditions:  abandoning violence, breaking with Al Qaeda, and supporting the constitution. The process is referred to alternately as reconciliation and reintegration.  The links below provide Hillary’s words on this issue as well as on issues concerning the welfare of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Yemen with UK FM Miliband & Yemeni FM Al-Qirbi

Hillary Clinton at Afghanistan – The London Conference 01-28-10

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Afghanistan: The London Conference 01-28-10 Video & Text

Hillary Clinton, Busy in London

Reconciliation of non-ideological insurgents remained a strong item on the agenda when she and Robert Gates attended the NATO Summit in Brussels in October 2010.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates in Brussels

Richard Holbrooke reasoned that if Afghanistan and Pakistan could forge relations beneficial to both,  cooperation in battling terrorist activities could be strengthened.  Thus came about a trade agreement signed by both countries in Islamabad in July 2010 which was the inception of “The New Silk Road.”

Hillary Clinton: More Pics from Pakistan

Hillary refers to a roundtable with TV journalists during this trip wherein she explained the necessity for Afghan-Pakistani relations to be strengthened as well as the reconciliation agenda.  It was testy, yet she remained resiliently cheerful and optimistic in her signature way (another reason we love her).

Hillary Clinton’s Roundtable in Pakistan with TV Journalists

Video: Hillary Clinton With Six Pakistani Interviewers At One Time – Holds Her Own! AWESOME!

She mentions that this policy was reinforced at the Lisbon NATO Conference.  She did not speak there.  She attended with President Obama who did the speaking that time around (but there are some amusing photos in the link below).

Hillary Clinton at NATO Lisbon: Saturday Wrap and Slideshow


Early the next month, with the holiday season gearing up,  Richard Holbrooke became ill during a meeting with her at the State Department.  She recounts the painful hours from the time he went to the infirmary in the building through his death at George Washington University Hospital.  It was a devastating blow to her, to the department, to his colleagues, and to people the world over with whom Holbrooke had worked.

Update on Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Update on Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Ambassador Holbrooke Has Passed Away

December 13, 2010 by still4hill

The day he died, there was a holiday party at the State Department.  Holbrooke’s widow, Kati Marton, attended.  Here are Hillary’s remarks.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Holiday Reception for the Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions to the United States

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on the Passing of Richard Holbrooke

Although she did not, in the book,  include specific references to these next two addresses,  I am including them here as part of the record of the Afghanistan and Af-Pak policy status at that time.

Video – Secretary Clinton’s Remarks: Review of the War in Afghanistan

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Briefing on Afghanistan and Pakistan

The memorial for Richard Holbrooke was held in mid-January 2011.  At the memorial, his friends remembered his great humor and huge personality.

Slideshow: Secretary Clinton at the Holbrooke Inaugural Lecture and the Memorial Service

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Holbrooke Memorial

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Launch of the Asia Society’s Series of Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial Addresses

A negotiating office where the U.S. could talk with Taliban representatives opened and quickly closed in Yemen where the Taliban made it appear too official for Karzai’s liking. By the December 2011 conference  in Bonn,  things had turned.  Pakistan did not show up, and Karzai began to distrust U.S.-Taliban negotiations.  The Taliban, in turn,  pulled out distrusting Karzai.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks in Bonn on Afghanistan

Her last official meeting with Karzai as secretary of state was in January 2013 shortly after she returned to D.C.  following  her illness and concussion.  (Not to be nitpicky, but she worked from home and even from the hospital while she was ill, so I did not want to say she returned “to work,”  She had been working all along.)   She hosted Karzai at a private dinner in the James Monroe Room and states that she appealed to his sense of his own legacy at this meeting.

Hillary Clinton with Hamid Karzai

She ends the chapter with a quote from Holbrooke: “The only way to start ending a war is to begin talking.”



Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>





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When I posted this in November 2009 at the tail end of Hillary’s busy tour of Asia that month,  everyone was surprised.  Security was so high that the visit was not announced until she was safely on the ground.

Breaking News…Hillary Wheels Down in Afghanistan

There was this 4-column spread photo on the front page of the New York Times.


In chapter 7 Hillary refers to a day at the White House that month when there were three important meetings the last of which, in the Situation Room,  yielded our military roadmap out of Afghanistan.

Sometimes during her State Department tenure, the public schedule would state that she had “No Public Appointments.”  Often I would clarify here that those words did not indicate that she was not working.  They meant that her work that day was not for publication.  She places these meetings three days before Thanksgiving, 2009. That puts it here, and we knew something big was up.

The Busy Monday Continues

We learn some of what went into her thinking as these deliberations proceeded.  Hillary is a Methodist, and very methodical, but she goes through something of a Catholic examination of conscience in this chapter seeking to discover what has worked and what lessons might be found in past miscalculations.

She revisits her past trips to Afghanistan as well as her Iraq War vote and the rationale behind that.  She flat out calls that vote a mistake.  I still think she provided very rigid parameters for the president in her remarks before casting that vote, but this is her call, not mine.  Here are those remarks,  and I believe she explained her position very clearly and did not provide the president an open playing field.

Time to Revisit Hillary Clinton’s Iraq War Vote

We also hear who the players in the Situation Room were and their positions and roles in the deliberations.  No one will be surprised that a great deal of the action centers around Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus.  Once a surge had been agreed upon it was, according to her account, their calculation of the ‘Goldilocks’ number of troops necessary on which the effectiveness of the surge would rest.

As in real life, Richard Holbrooke looms large in this chapter and has enormous impact on policy in the Af-Pak region he accepted to oversee.  It is not only Hillary in Hard Choices who speaks of hostility from the White House staff toward Holbrooke.  Vali Nasr, a member of Holbrooke’s team, and now Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies recounts White House offensives against Holbrooke in his 2013 book, The Dispensable Nation.  Hillary’s account is briefer with less detail, but it does lead to attempts by his adversaries to have Holbrooke fired.  Hillary defends him, and President Obama accepts the defense.


Also looming large in this chapter, of course, is Hamid Karzai with whom Hillary met on many occasions.   One of these that she singles out as particularly productive occurred during his May 2010 visit to the U.S.

At Dumbarton Oaks: Hillary Clinton & Hamid Karzai

All of this is background to her visit to Afghanistan in November 2009 where she smashed on the tarmac, with all the style, grace, and panache of Helen Mirren smashing on a red carpet,  and attended Karzai’s inauguration.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The truth is that in the book she does not even talk about most of the following events..  She was there for the inauguration.  There simply was no way that I could look back on that visit without including these events and photos.

Photos of the Day: Secretary Clinton in Afghanistan

Secretary Clinton’s Press Conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Secretary Clinton’s Address to U.S. and International Troops in Afghanistan

Photo Gallery: Hillary with Our Troops in Afghanistan

This is the real Hillary!

Hillary at the Embassy and Foreign Ministry in Kabul

 The upshot of all of this was, of course, the Afghanistan surge.  She closes the chapter with a summary of Afghanistan’s progress since 2010 on crucial issues, a hat tip to much-maligned General Eric Shinseki for his (rejected) 2003 recommendations to the Bush administration, and her account of the trip from the White House to West Point where President Obama unrolled the blueprint for departure from Afghanistan before an auditorium packed with cadets who soon would inherit the fight.

Afghanistan Speech: Photos and Text

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>




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There were no public remarks scheduled to be delivered from the meetings with President Karzai this evening, but there are pictures and this raw video from AP.  Victoria Nuland delivered a summary at today’s press briefing.

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MS. NULAND: Well, this late afternoon, this evening, as you know, the Secretary will host President Karzai here in the Department. She’ll have her own meeting with him, and then she’s going to host a working dinner. Defense Secretary Panetta is going to be here, National Security Advisor Donilon, and she’s obviously very much looking forward to seeing President Karzai. And then as you know, he’ll be at the White House tomorrow, as Ben Rhodes outlined.

Here at the State Department, we think a full range of issues are going to be discussed. Obviously, aspects of the security transition, the elections in 2014 and preparing for them, the economic transition, regional integration, support for the Afghan reconciliation efforts. Those will all be central themes in the discussions this evening.

With regard to where we are precisely on reconciliation, I think we are looking forward to hearing from President Karzai how he sees things. As you know, we have had some modest steps forward in recent months, including a commitment by Pakistan to support Afghan-Afghan reconciliation, some of the work we’ve been doing in the Core Group U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan to pave the way and ease the conditions for those Taliban who might need safe passage to go have conversations. As we’ve discussed here, we also had some track two discussions, Afghans and Taliban in Paris about a month and a half ago that could potentially be built on.

So I think first and foremost, we want to hear from President Karzai what he sees as the next steps and take it from there. So we’ll probably have – I’m expecting you’ll hear more about that aspect after the discussions here, but as importantly, the discussions tomorrow at the White House with the President. And I think you know the two presidents will have a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

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Remarks With Afghan President Hamid Karzai


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Kabul, Afghanistan
July 7, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, not pictured, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 7, 2012. Clinton announced that President Barack Obama had designated Afghanistan as a “major non-NATO ally” shortly after arriving in the country for talks with Karzai. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)

SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) – much, Mr. President. It’s wonderful being back in Afghanistan and to hear the birds, who are singing about the beautiful day here in Kabul. And I thank you so much for hosting me today and for your leadership and your vision for the future of your country and your people. It is certainly worth thinking for a moment about all of the positive changes that have been made and what we are doing to set the foundation for the future.

The security situation is more stable. The Afghan National Security Forces are improving their capacity to protect the Afghan people. They are in the process of taking the lead in more than 75 percent of the population’s living areas in order to provide security. And at the NATO Summit in Chicago, the international community made pledges to assist the continuing growth and development of the security forces.

But meanwhile, the Government of Afghanistan has signed partnership agreements with many countries, and we are very pleased that the United States is among those. We have worked together to set forth a long-term political, diplomatic, and security partnership, and it entered into force just a few days ago.

And I am pleased to announce today that President Obama has officially designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. We see this as a powerful symbol of our commitment to Afghanistan’s future. And later this year, I’m looking forward to convening, along with Foreign Minister Rassoul, the new U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral commission to intensify our cooperation.

Our Strategic Partnership Agreement is not aimed at any other country. Our goal is to work with the region and the international community to strengthen Afghanistan’s institutions so that the transition is successful and the Afghan people themselves can take responsibility. And the future of Afghanistan will be safer and more secure so that little boys and little girls can grow up in peace and stability and enjoy a better opportunity. And we will also make sure together that it is no longer a safe haven for al-Qaida or any other international terrorists who threaten Afghanistan, the region, the United States, in fact, the world.

When I think about the progress that’s been made, the new schools that have been built, the improvements in healthcare, the legal protections for Afghan citizens, I think there is much for the Afghan people to be very pleased about because it is your efforts that have brought about these changes. And we want to continue to invest in doing what you believe you need. That’s why it’ll be important to go to Tokyo together to discuss the next stages for investment in what’s being called the transformation decade. We will continue, of course, to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan. And we were struck by the recent call from Pakistan’s parliament that Pakistani territory shall not be used for any kind of attacks on other countries. And all foreign fighters, if found, shall be expelled from Pakistani soil. So we want to deepen our security cooperation with Pakistan.

And we also remain committed to Afghan reconciliation. I have supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process. We see positive signs. To quote High Peace Council head Dr. Rabbani, “a positive shift.” And I’m pleased that in Tokyo, we will have a core meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States at the ministerial level.

So there is much to do to continue working and building together. Obviously, we know Afghanistan has an agenda ahead of itself to make key economic reforms, to fight corruption, to strengthen the rule of law, to attract more trade and investment. And I want to commend President Karzai for his strong public pledges to stamp out corruption and build institutions that will be critical for Afghanistan’s future. And Mr. President, you will always have our support in your efforts. So we’re very excited about what is possible, and we are certainly aware of all of the difficulties that lie ahead. But we want to see Afghanistan be the center of a region of greater communication between countries and people, more trade and investment, a kind of New Silk Road that will bring more economic opportunity not only to Afghanistan, but to the entire region.

So my message today is very simple: The transition is on track, Afghanistan is standing up for itself, of course it will need support, and we are pledged to continue our support and to work with you to get more international support, and I’m quite excited about what lies ahead in Tokyo. But please know that the United States will be your friend and your partner. We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan; quite the opposite. We are building a partnership with Afghanistan that will endure far into the future.

Thank you so much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Welcome. Should we take (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, sure. All right. I think that’s good.



QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, unfortunately Afghanistan, by many independent metrics, remains one of the more – one of the countries most afflicted by corruption in the world. What assurances do you have that the new aid that will be pledged in Tokyo will not simply be eaten away by fraud or mismanagement? And what, in practical terms – can you explain to us in simple, practical terms what Afghanistan being designated to us as a major non-NATO ally means?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, we know that corruption is a major challenge in many countries around the world, and it’s something that governments and people have to continue to fight because it undermines progress. And we’re working hard with our Afghan partners to address this problem here in Afghanistan, knowing that it’s much broader than Afghanistan by promoting greater transparency, the rule of law, good governance, working hard to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. We’re working with the Afghanistan ministries, governors, local leaders who are committed to delivering services to their people, improving their lives. We take seriously any allegations of corruption that involve U.S. funds. And we are working with the United Nations to support the steps that they have said they would take to address the concerns raised by donors about allegations of mismanagement of the Law and Order Trust Fund.

And in the meeting in Tokyo, we’re going to discuss the kind of mutual accountability that I think the President addressed in his speech just a short while ago. President Karzai has expressed Afghanistan’s intention to take further steps to be effective in the fight against corruption, to further reform government institutions, increase efficiency, transportation, accountability, and we fully support these efforts, which is why we included as part of our Strategic Partnership Agreement cooperation on anticorruption initiatives. So we’re well aware of it, but this is an issue that the government and the people of Afghanistan want action on, and we want to help them be successful. And we intend to be working with them as they move on reforms as well.

Regarding the major non-NATO ally, there are a number of benefits that accrue to countries that have this designation. They’re able to have access to excess defense supplies, for example. They can be part of certain kinds of training and capacity building. I will leave it to our military colleagues to explain in greater length to anyone who’s interested. But this is the kind of relationship that we think will be especially beneficial as we do the transition and as we plan for the post-2014 presence, because it will open the door to Afghanistan’s military to have a greater capacity and a broader kind of relationship with the United States, and particularly the United States military.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are joining with the international community under the leadership of the Government of Japan to make a pledge that altogether will meet the needs that Afghanistan has laid out, and that the World Bank has also analyzed. I don’t want to jump the gun on the Tokyo conference because it’s really up to the Japanese who have put all the work into this conference to make any formal announcements, but I’m encouraged by what I’m hearing, because of course, the United States will be making a substantial commitment in line with what we have been providing in the past. We want to continue at that – at or near that level. And then other countries are coming in at the same or near levels, and some countries are coming in with new pledges. But I think we have to wait till we get to Tokyo because I think it’s only appropriate that Japan gets to make the announcements.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Can we take one more question from (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think we’re —

PRESIDENT KARZAI: About to leave? I guess we have to leave.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, we have to go to Tokyo. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you, especially, for —

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wish we didn’t have to leave, Mr. President.


SECRETARY CLINTON: So magnificent.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: There’s a saying in Farsi, (inaudible) – when a friend is around, we’ll be here again.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, thank you. Thank you.

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December is always heavily front-loaded, and 2011 was hardly an exception with Mme. Secretary on an historical visit to Burma where she met extensively with Nobel laureate and opposition leader Dai Aung Sang Suu Kyi.  Cameras popped, literally, for days and Mme. Secretary granted a flurry of media interviews.

Looking scrumptious, she touched down in DC for a meager 36 hours to host her traditional Kennedy Center Honors Gala Dinner, and was off again.  This time for Europe – a Rainbow Tour  beginning in Bonn for an Afghanistan Conference.  After Bonn, it was Vilnius,  Lithuania for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference followed immediately by a visit to Geneva, Switzerland,  There she met with the Syrian National Council, delivered a Human Rights Day speech that electrified as well as an address at the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.  In  Brussels she spoke at the NATO Conference, and then moved on to The Hague where she attended a Conference on Internet Freedom.

She returned to DC to a series of bilaterals and holiday events, participated in a PBS event with Jim Lehrer, signed an MOU with President Jahjaga of Kosovo, participated in the Women in Public Service event co-sponsored by DOS and the Seven Sisters colleges.  In New York she delivered a major address at the International Crisis Group’s “In Pursuit of Peace” Award Dinner.  In DC  she delivered an address on landmines and weaponry,  “To Walk the Earth Safely.”

The earth lost a dictator and a hero when North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il and former Czech president Vaclav Havel died.   Mme. Secretary led the US delegation, including former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Albright to Havel’s funeral in Prague.

As the year drew to a close, the calls for Secretary Clinton to run for POTUS in 2012 escalated into a write-in campaign for primary states, NH first, complete with robocalls.  As of two nights ago, HRC was on Americans Elect.

As my friend Rumana told both President and Secretary Clinton, we are very serious about this and will continue to pursue this effort into the new year.  We hope our encouragement touches Mme. Secretary.

Speeches: Remarks at the Afghanistan Conference, Remarks at Breakfast with Afghan Civil Society RepresentativesAfghan Women’s Event, Afghanistan Conference First Working Session, Belarus Civil Society Roundtable, Civil Society Meet and Greet, OSCE First Plenary Session, Human Rights Day speech,  Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, Conference on Internet Freedom, Women in Public Service, ICG Dinner: “In Pursuit of Peace,” To Walk the Earth Safely.

Travel: Burma, Germany, Lithuania, Switzerland, Belgium,  the Netherlands, the Czech Republic.

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Our best wishes, Mme. Secretary, for a Happy, Healthy, Safe, and Successful 2012.  We implore you.  Run, Hillary, run!

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Mme. Secretary began her day in Bonn at the Afghanistan conference. We see her being greeted by German FM Westerwelle and Afghanistan’s FM Rassoul. She was met by a host of familiar dignitaries including German Chancellor Merkel, Spanish FM Jimenez, Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, Hamid Karzai. In the course of the day she held bilaterals with Merkel and Karzai and met with women civil society leaders from Afghanistan. Then it was wheels up for Vilnius where she was greeted by Lithuanian FM Azubalis.

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Hillary Clinton reaches Bonn for Afghanistan Conference

Bonn, Mon, 05 Dec 2011 ANI


Bonn, Dec 5 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Bonn on Sunday for international talks aimed at charting a course for Afghanistan after NATO combat troops withdraw in 2014, even as her aides played down a boycott by Pakistan.

“I don’t think it (the boycott) will impact the conclusions of the conference in any way,” The Express Tribune quoted a senior State Department official, as saying.


“We’re all anticipating they (the Pakistanis) will continue to play an important role moving forward. I wouldn’t read too much into their non appearance tomorrow (Monday),” the official added.


Clinton will meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan officials at the conference, which is also aimed at ensuring the continuation of international financial and technical support to Kabul after the withdrawal of the US and NATI troops.

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Remarks With Afghan President Hamid Karzai


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

PRESIDENT KARZAI: (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) and she has very good intentions towards Afghanistan and towards (inaudible). She has been working for the security and stability in Afghanistan, and we are pleased to see her here in the capital, Kabul.

Madam Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, we both enjoy a very long friendship, and we both enjoy personal relationships (inaudible). And we remain grateful for her work in – on everything for security and stability and the rebuilding of Afghanistan. (Inaudible) once again (inaudible).

Madam Clinton and I spoke on a wide range of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and in the region. (Inaudible) where the U.S. reaffirmed its support (inaudible) and we also spoke and discussed the strategic partnership agreement which is still underway. And we also spoke on the security situation in the region.

The other subject of our discussion was the coming conferences on Afghanistan and the Bonn conference on Afghanistan and the Istanbul conference which is expected to be held soon, and on the items of agenda for the conference, including the enhancement of the regional cooperation in the countries.

We also discussed a number of other issues of importance for the region, including the extremism issue in Pakistan and in Afghanistan – a phenomenon, a scourge that threatens the youth in both the countries, the people in both the countries and the measures that are necessary to fight this scourge and that has continued to harm our people and has wounded and killed a lot of people.

We also talked on the assassination of Professor Rabbani and on all related issues to the assassination. We also discussed a number of other issues that would help the country and the region and issues that could help in the stability of the region. And we hope that we, and with Pakistan, could enter into discussions where we could clearly express our views on the common threats that we all have faced and are facing.

And I once again welcome Madam Secretary to Kabul and Afghanistan, and I once again express the gratitude of the people of Afghanistan for everything they have (inaudible) to Afghanistan, for all the contributions and assistance to the improvement of lives in our country. And I wish you all the best, and most welcome, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, President Karzai, for welcoming me back to Afghanistan on such a beautiful day here in Kabul. I have very much appreciated our long and friendly relationship and the opportunity to work with you first as a senator and now as Secretary of State on behalf of a future of peace, prosperity, and stability for the people of Afghanistan. No people in the world deserve it more, and our efforts will continue. And I thank you for your leadership.

Today, President Karzai and I discussed the challenges that we face, but also the opportunities that we have in the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. Let me emphasize four points.

First, we are focused on the shared goal of a stable, sovereign, independent, and prosperous Afghanistan and a region free of al-Qaida and extremists who would try to undermine the progress that the people of Afghanistan have made.

Together, we are increasing the pressure on the Taliban to sharpen the choices that they face. They can either be part of Afghanistan’s peaceful future and end 30 years of war, or face continuing assault.

The despicable murder of Professor Rabbani was another reminder of the suffering that so many Afghan families have endured. They deserve a different future.

And this brings me to the second point. The United States remains committed to an inclusive Afghan peace process that ends the conflict, protects the gains the Afghan people have achieved in the last 10 years, and helps bring greater stability and prosperity to the wider region.

President Karzai and I have been clear about the outcomes of any negotiation. Insurgents must renounce violence, abandon al-Qaida, and abide by the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including its protections for women and minorities. The hard-won rights of Afghans, including women and minorities, must not be rolled back, and the growth of civil society must not be quashed, and the rule of law must not be threatened.

Reconciliation is possible. Indeed, it represents the best hope for Afghanistan and the region. But success will take an inclusive national dialogue and sustained political effort not only from Afghans but from Afghanistan’s neighbors.

And that is the third point. Afghanistan’s future is tied to the future of the entire region both politically and economically. That is why the United States is working with Afghanistan to secure commitments from all of its neighbors to respect Afghan sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to support peace in Afghanistan.

And it is why we have embraced the vision of Afghanistan at the heart of a New Silk Road, which will increase cross-border trade, investment that creates jobs and opportunities, and leads to broad-based prosperity.

So let me say a word about Pakistan. We agree with President Karzai that Pakistan’s cooperation is critical. Violent extremism has also taken the lives of thousands of Pakistanis as well as Afghans. And if you look beyond the history of distrust, it is clear that all countries in the region will have to work together for all the people in the region.

So I urge the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to resume their dialogue. We must focus on concrete measures to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, and to deny extremists safe havens in Pakistan.

And the final point is that all of this work advances the plan for transition that Afghanistan and NATO agreed on at the summit in Lisbon. The transition to Afghan-led security has already begun, and we are identifying the next group of districts that will be ready to be handed over to the Afghans. This process will conclude by 2014, when Afghans will have full responsibility.

But I want to be clear: The United States is making an enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan that will not end in 2014. We will not abandon Afghanistan. We continue to make progress toward a new Strategic Partnership Declaration that will provide a framework for long-term cooperation between the United States and Afghanistan. We hope that this agreement and the clarity it brings will bolster Afghan and regional confidence that this country will not again become a safe haven for terrorists or an area for competing regional interests. Our work depends on an ethic of shared responsibility. The United States will do our part.

Now, over the years ahead, our role and our military presence will change significantly, but we will remain committed and engaged. And we will look to work with our Afghan partners. We know that ultimately all of this depends upon the people and leadership of Afghanistan. And so let me just end by saying a word directly to the people of Afghanistan – men and women from every ethnic group, every geographic area, every part of the political spectrum: The time has come for you to choose what kind of country you want. America cannot make that choice for you. Even your president cannot make that choice for you. It must be a choice by the people of Afghanistan with the leadership of Afghanistan working to make it a reality.

I am confident, given the strength and resilience of the Afghan people, that you will make a choice for a future of peace, prosperity, and stability, where every Afghan boy and girl has a chance to live up to his or her own God-given potential.

Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you very much. Thank you. Would you like to –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. Let me call on Indira from Bloomberg. Indira.

QUESTION: (Off mic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, here comes the microphone, Indira.

QUESTION: Thank you. First, President Karzai, in the days after former President Rabbani’s assassination, you said you had given up hope in reconciliation talks with the Taliban and that you should have peace talks with Pakistan instead, implying that Pakistan controlled or at least gave safe haven to militants who attack Afghanistan. Has Secretary Clinton said anything to you today that changes your mind and restores your faith in peace talks?

And for you, Secretary Clinton, in light of Rabbani’s killing and the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the U.S. post in Wardak that authorities have blamed on insurgents linked to Pakistan, what gives you any hope that Pakistan will cooperate with the U.S. and Afghanistan to crack down on terrorist safe havens and attacks?

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Ma’am, Afghanistan engaged in a very sincere, a very direct, very (inaudible) peace efforts with our brothers in Pakistan and also with the Taliban. Since the creation of Pakistan over 60 years ago, no Afghan government has had such a dedicated effort with Pakistan. The number of visits that I’ve had personally, the number of exchanges, and the proposals that we have had, from the meeting that President Musharraf and myself and President Bush had in 2006, from which the proposal of the Afghanistan-Pakistan peace (inaudible) came, to the creation of the peace council in – led by President Rabbani, to the sad assassination of President Rabbani by someone who came in the name of a messenger for peace, Afghanistan has been engaged both with Pakistan and with the Taliban, as we consider them Afghans.

Unfortunately, the assassination of President Rabbani brought us to the point where we felt that those who come to talk to us on behalf of the Taliban actually represent assassinations and killings and not a peace process. And therefore, the focus of the peace process, we felt, would serve a better purpose taken to Pakistan. We believe that the Taliban, to a very, very great extent, to a very, very great extent, are controlled by establishments in Pakistan, stay in Pakistan, have their headquarters in Pakistan, launch operations from Pakistan.

Therefore, it is not in the manner of pointing a finger or in manner of reprimand that we seek to talk to Pakistan, but a manner of trying to find the proper venue for talks and the proper authority for talks. And the proper authority, we firmly believe, is Pakistan and the venue therefore should also be Pakistan.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me underscore what President Karzai just said. He has been engaged in a sincere effort on behalf of peace and reconciliation. The creation of the High Peace Council, many efforts at outreach, were tragically and despicably answered with the assassination of Professor Rabbani.

We discussed at some length how we can pursue three mutually reinforcing objectives: We’re going to continue fighting, we’re going to be talking, and we’re going to continue building.

Now, some might say, “How do you do all three of those at the same time?” And my answer is, under the circumstances we must do all three at the same time. So we want a very clear message to the insurgents on both sides of the border that we are going to fight you and we are going to seek you in your safe havens, whether you’re on the Afghan side or the Pakistani side. They must be dealt with.

At the same time, we know that on this side of the border Afghan operations, in partnership with the United States and ISAF, have been making significant progress, most recently against operatives of the Haqqani Network who had crossed from their safe haven into Afghanistan.

And we will be in Pakistan this evening to begin discussions with the Pakistani Government about how we intend to cooperate to increase pressure on the safe havens there. We’re already working with the Pakistanis to target those who are behind a lot of the attacks that have killed Afghans, Americans, and others.

At the same time, we’re going to be expecting the Pakistanis to support the efforts at talking. We believe they can play either a constructive or a destructive role in helping to bring into talks those with whom the Afghans themselves must sit across the table and hammer out a negotiated settlement to end the years of fighting.

We will be looking to the Pakistanis to take the lead, because the terrorists operating outside of Pakistan pose a threat to Pakistanis, as well as to Afghans and others. And we will have ideas to share with the Pakistanis. We will certainly listen carefully to the ideas that they have. But our message is very clear: We’re going to be fighting, we’re going to talking, and we’re going to be building. And they can either be helping or hindering, but we are not going to stop our efforts to create a strong foundation for an Afghanistan that is free from interference, violence, conflict, and has a chance to chart its own future.

So this is a time for clarity. It is a time for people to declare themselves as to how we intend to work together to reach goals that we happen to believe are in the mutual interests of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the region.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Madam Secretary. Thank you for the very promising message with regard to Afghanistan. Are you also hearing the voices of the mothers in Afghanistan who lose their sons in the country? Unfortunately, the identity of Afghanistan seems like everything is here (inaudible) we have evidence, the government and the people of Afghanistan have got evidence that behind every violence, it is (inaudible) Pakistan, Pakistan’s intelligence authority. So if this (inaudible) is pursued in a way (inaudible) president of Afghanistan (inaudible) for the first 10 years and (inaudible), how assured are you that Pakistan this time comes and acts on all these (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: First let me thank you for mentioning the mothers of Afghanistan, because I think your question implies the fact there has been so much suffering and so much loss for so long – an entire generation. And I think it is time for all of us to accelerate and strengthen our efforts to reach a settlement, because one thing we have learned is that there is no military solution; there must be an agreed-upon path forward.

And what I hope is that Afghans who have differences with their own country will be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If they are living in Pakistan, it is time for them to pay more attention to what the future in Afghanistan holds than what the present in Pakistan offers. And so we will be delivering a very clear message to the Government of Pakistan and to the people of Pakistan, because they, too, have suffered. They have suffered at the hands of the same kind of terrorists, so there should be no support and no safe haven anywhere for people who kill innocent men, women, and children.

So my message will be as it just was to you: We have to deal with the safe havens on both sides of the border. It is not enough to point fingers across the border; we must work together to end the safe havens. We must send a clear, unequivocal message to the government and the people of Pakistan that they must be part of the solution, and that means ridding their own country of terrorists who kill their own people and who cross the border to kill in Afghanistan.

I think that how we increase that pressure, how we make that commitment, is the subject of the conversations that President Karzai and I have had, and that I will have in Pakistan. But we’re looking to the Pakistanis to lead on this, because there’s no place to go any longer. The terrorists are on both sides. They are killing both people. No one should be in any way mistaken about allowing this to continue without paying a very big price. So I will deliver the message on behalf of the mothers of Afghanistan and on behalf of my own country.

Yes. Next, (inaudible) Johnson. And here comes the microphone.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary, Mr. President. Madam Secretary, you talked about fight, talk, build. This appears to be just a different formulation of what you’ve been trying to do for the last 10 years, unsuccessfully. My question to the both of you is: What’s new? What’s changed that makes you think that this time around it can be effective? And is there enough time, considering the deadline, to transfer security responsibility to the Afghans in 2014?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ll start, and then certainly the final word on this should be President Karzai’s.

I think you’ve got to put this in a broader historic context. And I can only speak for the Obama Administration, but when President Obama came into office, the momentum was on the side of the Taliban. And it took an enormous amount of effort, the additional troops that President Obama ordered, the ramping up of the Afghan security forces, which are becoming more effective by the day, in order to stop and then reverse that momentum.

You cannot expect to have the kinds of resolution that we are seeking until you can point to that having been accomplished. So I actually think the timing is right. We are now at the point where we are transferring responsibility for security to an increasingly able Afghan security forces. We are now very clear that there is a timeline on which this is occurring, which I believe helps to focus people’s minds, and gives us the opportunity to have the in-depth negotiations that President Karzai has been seeking. I think the Afghan people have made progress in a number of critical areas, and they are willing to stand up for that progress. They know what they are fighting for. They’re fighting for the kind of future that they have seen, because of the changes that have occurred over the last 10 years.

So, now is the time for us to bring all of the pressure and forces to bear. And I am not sure it could have been done before this time. So, yes. Have we been at this a long time? Is this very complicated? Have we and the international community paid a lot in blood and treasure? Have the Afghans paid far more? Absolutely true. But now, I think, this is the moment when we must bring our best efforts to bear in making sure that we push as hard as we can to achieve the kind of resolution that President Karzai has sought.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: All the 10 years and our efforts and the consequences of those efforts were for stability and peace in the region and the defeat of terrorism. The reason that we continue to face difficulty and the loss of Afghans and sons and children of the international community in Afghanistan is because we did not pay attention in time to the sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan. The peace effort that we launched and the sacrifice of the Afghan people made in that effort and the consequences of Afghanistan, resulting in the assassination of the Afghan leaders and the Afghan Government functionaries, state functionaries, and the assassination of President Rabbani, brings us to a conclusion that Afghanistan had 10 years ago, that unless we pay attention to sanctuaries, and unless we go to the proper authority that leads and controls all of that, we will not be able to either have a successful peace process or a successful campaign against terrorism.

Therefore, Afghanistan, out of a recognition, in a very hard, unfortunate way, is now focusing attention and talking to our brothers in Pakistan. And we will do that until we know that there is an address for the Taliban militia, a place that we can go to, a door that we can knock on, a telephone number that we can call, and where we can find the Taliban representative that can talk to us, Afghan to Afghan, that we are sure is representing the Taliban and have the freedom and independence to talk as an Afghan. This doesn’t mean that we have given up on the peace process. No. It means we are shifting the focus of the peace process where we feel we will have results.

On transition and on all that has been done over the past 10 years? So there has been immense progress in Afghanistan with all other aspects of life, other than security and the defeat of terrorism. Education, health, roads, civil society, the media, the economy, the very growth of the country as it has been happening the past 10 years – again, with the generous assistance of the international community – that is to be remembered.

That’s all?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s all for me.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: That’s all? One more question, okay. You are friendly to both of us. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, every time when I come to a press conference with foreign visitor, I doubt my own understanding of current situation in Afghanistan, because they always say everything is better, the momentum is now, not anymore with Taliban. But the reality is something different.

My question will be specific on Haqqani. Why Haqqani should talk with Afghan Government? Because in the past, someone else, Mullah (inaudible), a very senior Taliban leader, talked with the, there were (inaudible) negotiation with Afghan Government, and then he got captured by Pakistani Government, and he’s still serving his time in jail. So, if Haqqani come, what is the guarantee that he’s going to be safe and (inaudible) arrested him?

And why American are keeping quiet? Even the attack to their own embassy (inaudible) give them a lesson that we have to put a serious pressure – not only a pressure, a serious pressure – on Pakistan to do something about Haqqani.

Mr. President, my question will be about that long-term strategy, because Afghanistan is carrying the suffering from neighbor countries. Pakistan, Iran, and China, India, they are all involved, a long-term strategy. Have you talked with them? Have you shared what you’re going to do with America in this region? Because there is no guarantee that this long-term strategy will not commit another problem for Afghanistan, another war.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I believe that there are so many indicators of progress from 10 years ago that I regret that you either do not see them, or don’t believe them. But I think your job makes you focus on what is wrong. I mean that’s what the media does. The media has to focus on where the conflict is, the media has to focus on where the problems are. That’s your job.

But I have met with many Afghans over the course of more than a decade, and I just don’t see how you can conclude what you concluded. You are welcome to your opinion, but I think the international community, whether it’s a significant drop in infant mortality and a very large increase in women’s education, or economic activity, or whatever the indicator might be, is pointing in the right direction. Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still major problems. And the security issues, the efforts to assassinate leaders, is a huge problem. It would be a huge problem in any country. So, clearly, we are in no way denying that there are problems, but it’s a more complex reality than just either all good or all bad would suggest.

Secondly, with respect to the Haqqanis, we are taking action against the Haqqanis. There was a major military operation inside Afghanistan in recent days that has been rounding up and eliminating Haqqani operatives on this side of the border. We are taking action to target Haqqani leadership on both sides of the border. We are moving toward a very international effort to squeeze the Haqqanis with the funding and other aspects of the operations. So, I think there is a lot going on that will be more apparent in days and weeks ahead.

But it is a fact that we know they operate out of a safe haven in Pakistan. And I think that it took – I would put this slightly differently – that it took time to get us in a position where we could turn with real intensity toward the safe havens in Pakistan. And now it’s a question as to how much cooperation Pakistan will provide in going after those safe havens. But it took some time to get to this point. We are here now, and we intend to push the Pakistanis very hard as to what they are willing and able to do with us in the international community to remove the safe havens and the continuing threats across the border to Afghanistan.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: On strategic partnership, there’s negotiations going on between us and the United States. Afghanistan has some conditions. These are internal to Afghanistan, with regard to Afghan sovereignty, prisons, and issues like that. But as far as the strategic partnership itself, and the importance of it for Afghanistan is concerned, this is something that the Afghan people realize, in terms of its importance, very significantly.

It will bring to Afghanistan much-needed resources, the continued support of the United States for military and the civilian efforts, the buildup of our economy, the buildup of our security forces, and it will in no way be – we have discussed that, it will in no way be directed against any of our neighbors. It will rather be a guarantor of our continued effort against radicalization and radicalism in this region, which, unfortunately, is aplenty and continuing. So the partnership that Afghanistan and the United States will have, one that will be approved by the Afghan people (inaudible), will be between the two countries for the stability of Afghanistan, for the well-being of Afghanistan, for the continued buildup of the Afghan state institutions, and for strengthening relations between Afghanistan and the United States, and will contribute to the region by we are providing better security and better economic activity, where Afghanistan will serve as an important element in connecting the region together.

Thank you.


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Public Schedule for October 20, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
October 20, 2011

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel.

In Afghanistan with president Karzai and at a Civil Society discussion with Afghan women.

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Today,  with Mme. Secretary traveling and not making public appearances, I thought I would take a moment to revisit a statement she released two days ago on the assassination of Hamid Karzai’s brother.    What stands out about this statement is her tone.  There were many stories out here in cyberland about Ahmed Wali Karzai, his “connections,”  the nature of his dealings,  implications that would probably amount to RICO predicates here in the U.S.

Our Secretary of State is the one who reminds us here that the act that took him down resides within the confines of what we deem terrorism, and she condemns it,  reminding us that this is not an episode of  The Sopranos.  These are people’s lives

Press Statement on the Assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 12, 2011

I called President Karzai today to extend my deepest condolences to him and to his family on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai. The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms. For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism. We join President Karzai in his prayer for peace and stability in Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace.

Corollary to this statement, and tragically,  Foreign Policy  led this morning with the story of  an additional terror attack at the funeral.   Kandahar’s chief cleric and three others were killed by a suicide bomber at the Red Mosque in Kandahar city.   Suicide bomber attacks Karzai memorial service.

No matter what you think of President Karzai, this is a family tragedy, and the Secretary hit exactly the right note in her message.  No matter where you stand on our military presence in Afghanistan,  here is something to bear in mind.

A  military draw-down will not terminate our presence there.  The model for this is Iraq.  We will remain in Afghanistan, but the operations will be transferred from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom.  The basis for this is what Secretary Clinton has called “smart power,” resting on the tripod of Defense, Diplomacy, and Development.  These triple Ds are the Clinton Doctrine, and we see it working successfully in sharp contrast to “Obama Doctrine” of “leading from behind”.

Secretary Clinton has forged a doctrine for the 21st century that ensures a leadership position for the U.S. by working cooperatively with many allies and, as her QDDR (Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review) has successfully organized, by allocating tasks appropriately among agencies within our own government.

If Hillary Clinton does nothing further in the public domain for the rest of her life,  she will have set this country on a viable leadership course for this century. She has transformed the State Department and placed it and the U.S. in a proactive rather than reactive position for the future as global issues arise.   She has worked hard to accomplish this and leads wisely.  That wisdom is apparent in her brief, powerful message on the death of Mr. Karzai.  It is a strong, compassionate statement from a strong, compassionate leader.

Thank you, Mme. Secretary for your brilliant, diligent, courageous service.  God love you and keep you safe.   You are a leader for our time, and you cast a giant shadow long into the future.

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