AFGHANISTAN FACES "TOUGHER CHALLENGES" IN NEXT SECURITY HANDOVER
- Afghanistan faces tougher security challenges in the next phase of a transition from foreign to Afghan forces as insurgents step up their attacks, Afghan officials said on Thursday, May 10, according to Reuters.
President Hamid Karzai is expected to announce on Sunday the transfer of 230 districts and the centers of all provincial capitals to Afghan control in the third phase of a handover before most NATO troops pull out by the end of 2014.
"In 2014 we will face a national survival test, but our enemies have to know that this nation is committed to fulfill this process," Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, head of the transition process, told reporters in Kabul.
"The third stage is a difficult stage. We don't want to tell lies to Afghanistan's people, but these difficulties are not ones that have no solution. The fourth and fifth stages will be more difficult," Ahmadzai, a former finance minister, said.
Afghanistan and its Western backers plan a total of five stages of security transfer, which will eventually include Taliban-strongholds such as Kandahar and much of Helmand as well as volatile eastern provinces, among other areas.
No officials would comment on what specific districts in which provinces would be transitioned in the third phase.
The difficulties underlining the third phase were also echoed by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker who joined NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. General John Allen, other NATO soldiers and Afghan officials to talk about the next step.
More than a decade since coalition forces toppled the Taliban, NATO forces and the Afghan government are scrambling to build up and improve local security forces to be able to take over from foreign forces.
- 1804 Mamed Khan of Yerevan, knowing of the Russian force's progress, orders the migration (for the duration of the war) of about 20000 Armenians from the Khanate of Yerevan to Ghars.
- 1810 Birth of Gabriel Aivazovski in Feodosia (Ukraine). He died in 1880 in Tbilissi (Georgia).
- 1838 Birth of Viscount James Bryce (statesman). He served under Prime Minister William Gladstone. He was a founder of the League of Nations. He wrote on jurisprudence and political science. He vociferously condemned the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government. He died in 1922.
- 1848 The Lazaryan College (Moscow) becomes the Institute of Western Languages.
- 1855 The Sultan orders, for the first time, the draft for the Christians in Turkey. The order was ineffective.
- 1920 Armenia's Revolutionary Military Committee in Alexandropol and proclaims the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia.
- 1923 Birth of Heydar Aliev, First Secretary of the Communist Party in Azerbaijan, Head of the Azeri Turk subdivision of the Soviet KGB, Member of the USSR Politbureau, and Head of Atheistic Propaganda under the Soviet regime. Committed Genocide against the Armenians of Nakhitshevan and Artsakh. Took over the presidency of Azerbaijan in 1993.
- 1941 The Ten-day Festival of Armenian Literature starts in Moscow (Russia).
- 1943 Garegeen the First (Hovsepyants) is anointed Catholicos of Cilicia in Antilias' Cathedral.