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 Home > News & Policies > May 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 2, 2002

Fact Sheet: Afghanistan Security and Reconstruction

The Afghan Reconstruction Steering Group

The United States, the European Union, Japan, and Saudi Arabia co-chair the Afghan Reconstruction Steering Group, which includes over 60 countries, the EU, G-8 members, and UN/World Bank, to assist and coordinate reconstruction efforts for Afghanistan.

  • The Steering Group, through conferences in Washington, Brussels, and Tokyo, has raised $4.5 billion for the next 5 years.

  • Five building blocks for Afghan security have been identified, and there has been agreement on lead countries/agencies as follows:

    1. National Army -- U.S. (DOD/CENTCOM) lead
    2. National Police -- German lead
    3. Judicial Training -- Italian/European Commission lead
    4. Counter-narcotics -- UK lead
    5. Demobilization -- UN lead

U.S.-EU Key Issues Going Forward:

  • Security: U.S. and European partners will continue Operation Enduring Freedom to root out remaining al-Qaida and Taliban, a continuing threat to Afghanistan's security. The presence of our coalition forces has contributed to stabilizing broader security situation in the country. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also has had an important role. Turkey has agreed to take over from the British lead of ISAF operations in June of this year. The primary focus now is to help train and stand up an Afghan army and police force as a more effective, long-term solution for Afghanistan's security.

  • Counter-narcotics: 90 percent of the heroin in Europe is of Afghan origin. Through a UK-funded program, the Afghan Interim Authority is working to eradicate Afghanistan's poppy crop and provide Afghans with the means to address the financial hardships and labor displacement effects of the poppy eradication program. The U.S. is supporting this effort.

  • Economic Policy: The United States and the European Union agree that it is imperative for the Afghan Interim Authority to establish sound monetary policy in order to mitigate the risks of inflation and to instill greater confidence.

  • Humanitarian Programs and Refugee Return: With hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iran and Pakistan returning, and an ongoing drought, the United States and the European Union are providing continued support for humanitarian programs in the region.

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