Secretary Clinton arrives at the military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan to attend the inauguration of President Karzai, November 18, 2009. ©AP Image
The United States has made a long-term commitment to help Afghanistan rebuild itself after years of war. The insurgency in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan poses a fundamental threat to U.S. strategic interests. Disrupting, dismantling, and eliminating al-Qaeda safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan are a top foreign policy priority. The Administration’s strategy to achieve this goal in Afghanistan is to promote a more capable, accountable, and effective Afghan Government that serves its people by generating economic opportunities and can function with limited international support. Through diplomatic and development efforts, the United States supports the Afghan Government in its efforts to establish a framework for a vibrant civil society, one that emphasizes democratic principles through the rule of law and creates accountable and transparent forms of government.
In Pakistan, the strategy is to stabilize the government through macroeconomic reforms and private sector growth that lay the foundation for long-term economic stability and sustainable growth. Pakistan must also be convinced to systematically confront extremist threats by further developing its security capabilities. Both the Department and USAID are working together to strengthen each host country’s capacity to provide services to its citizens effectively and enhance the long-term sustainability of development efforts.