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Cablegate: Special Media Reaction: Sixth Anniversary of U.S. Invasion

VZCZCXRO5106
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3448/01 2830242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 100242Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0819
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3683
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4234
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUHEHMS/COMUSMARCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003448

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A, SCA/PPD, S/CRS, S/CT,
EUR/RPM, INL/CIVPOL, INR/R/MR, STATE FOR NSC WOOD, OSD FOR SHIVERS,
CENTCOM FOR CSTC-A, CG CJTF-82, POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PGOV PREL AF

SUBJECT: SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION: SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF U.S. INVASION
OF AFGHANISTAN


1. SUMMARY: Editorialists in all major Kabul dailies used the sixth
anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to measure the
progress their country has made, and, despite improvements, all
found the progress wanting. A resurgent Taliban, government
corruption, ineptitude of the Afghan security forces and continued
meddling by Afghanistan's neighbors were factors cited in slowing
Afghanistan's progress and increasing instability. END SUMMARY.

2. An unsigned editorial in the Oct. 8 edition of The Daily
Afghanistan, an independent daily, read: "In the last six years, the
transition in the country has been an exceptional and outstanding
achievement. What is more important than these achievements is
ability to maintain them, which is the responsibility of Afghanistan
and of the international community. But after the presence of almost
40,000 foreign troops over the last six years, Afghanistan is still
under threat of terrorists, which is a mystery that needs to be
solved.

"After six years, people were expecting to achieve peace,
development, prosperity and some significant changes in the areas of
the economy, reconstruction, security and national and international
relations. Unfortunately, it seems like Afghanistan is slowly moving
towards those dark days that we had experienced six years ago."

3. An unsigned editorial in the Oct. 8 edition of Cheragh, an
independent daily, read: "The presence of the U.S.-led Coalition
Forces in Afghanistan is entering the seventh year. While the people
of Afghanistan are still expecting peace and security, terrorist
camps are not shattered, but expanded. Drug production and
trafficking is not prevented, but increased beyond the limits, and
poverty and corruption in government offices remain untold stories
during the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan."

4. An unsigned editorial in Anis, an independent daily, on Oct. 8,
read: "The international community mistakenly thought that the
Taliban disappeared from the scene after collapse the collapse of
their regime. Nevertheless, they have been waiting in their former
hideouts looking for an appropriate time to reappear, and the
international community and the Afghan government's weakness and
lack of decisiveness has now paved the way for them to arise and
become the biggest obstacle.

"The United States has made decisions about Afghanistan based on
Pakistan's advice, and has judged Afghanistan from Pakistan's
prospective, but has never thought of eliminating the roots of
terrorism existing in that country. Now the remainders of the
terrorists and the Taliban are gathering with the support of
neighboring countries and they are directly interfering in
Afghanistan, and their only aim is the collapse of the government.
People are losing the hope for a safe and bright future day by day.
The international community, especially the United States, should
prove their promises of commitments towards Afghanistan by
eliminating these obstacles preventing Afghans from stepping out on
the road towards peace, stability and prosperity, and those promises
should not fade away day by day."

5. An unsigned editorial in the Oct. 8, edition of Weesa, an
independent daily, read: "There is no question that today
Afghanistan cannot be compared with the last six years, and
politically, Afghanistan has a place in every political organization
and international conference in the world. Afghanistan was not like
today six years back. Today, we have an elected President, a
government and a parliament, and our country is optimistic about its
future.

"In the construction area, a considerable amount of work has been
achieved but above all, our nation's hopes and our people's optimism
never came true. If the six years presence of the international
community in Afghanistan was effective, we would have never seen in
Kabul city in one week, three suicide bomb blasts that made tens of
homes mourn. Now, it is important to do what has not been done yet,
and to not do what causes Afghanistan and the international
community many losses."

6. An unsigned editorial in the Oct. 8 edition of Islah independent

KABUL 00003448 002 OF 002


daily read, "Six years after the Taliban regime's collapse, we now
hear that they are back in action with the support of neighboring
countries. The lack of coordination between Afghan security forces
and NATO, and slow training of the Ministry of Interior and Defense
are also considered factors which are facilitating opportunities for
the Taliban to grow stronger. If the international community can
eliminate the foreign supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda
network, and in the meantime the ANA (Afghan National Army) and ANP
(Afghan National Police) become capable of combat with these groups,
then we can expect some positive outcomes during the seventh year of
U.S. invasion on Afghanistan.

WOOD

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