U.S., France Reject Expansion of International Troops in Afghanistan
In spite of pleas from both the United Nations and the Afghan Administration for an expansion of the 4,800-member International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the United States and France made their opposition official by telling the UN Security Council that the ISAF would not be expanded. U.S. representative James Cunningham and French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte both agreed that though the security situation in Afghanistan is a major concern, it could be better addressed by an Afghan national army and police force. By most estimates, the training of such an all-Afghan force would take at least 18 months to complete and would present an innumerable amount of challenges possibly prolonging the process.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated that expanding the ISAF top major cities in Afghanistan “would significantly minimize the likelihood of large-scale hostilities erupting again between existing armed factions” which are still prevalent in the country. There have been reports that several people have been arrested or harassed by private militias in various parts of the country for speaking in favor of the Loya Jirga. Not only are there security concerns surrounding the convening of the Loya Jirga, but as Hossain, a UN investigation, stated in response to the U.S. and France’s opposition, “security lapses could jeopardize the whole transition process.”
The Feminist Majority has been urging the U.S. government to support an expansion of international security troops in Kabul and other areas of Afghanistan in order to provide women and children greater safety. Even though schools have recently reopened and women are now allowed to work, they still fear the warlords of the past and see the international force as providing them a greater degree of protection. Without such protection, many women are still fearful of leaving their homes for school or work. The need for security in Afghanistan is a crucial component of the reconstruction process and must be addressed immediately if the international community is sincere in assisting Afghanistan in its transition to a democratic government with an active and productive population.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .