Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-13-03

Special Report: Democratic and Republican Senators, Afghan Ambassador Call for Peace Force Expansion

At a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic and Republican Senators criticized the Bush Administration for "sugarcoating" the situation in Afghanistan and expressed grave concerns that the US is not providing adequate commitment, resources, and security support for Afghanistan.

Committee Chairman Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) opened the hearing with a call for US "follow through" in Afghanistan and for expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which currently has 4,800 peace keeping troops in Kabul, to areas outside of the capital. Said Lugar, "I agree with those who suggest that ISAF must expand its area of operations beyond the capital. The need to maintain security, distribute aid, and establish the credibility of the interim government exists throughout the country, not just in Kabul."

Throughout the hearing, the senators pressed the State Department's Afghanistan Coordinator David Johnson and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman, who testified before the Committee, on why the US has refused to commit with other nations to expand ISAF. The ranking Democrat on the Committee, Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) said that “security [in Afghanistan] is jeopardized by the
Administration’s refusal to support ISAF expansion.”

Both Republican and Democratic Senators also challenged the Department of Defense’s plan to deploy small provincial regional teams to 7-10 areas of Afghanistan over the next year as a substitute for ISAF expansion. The teams, which would vary in size from 10 to 60 people, would include special operations, civil affairs, and USAID personnel. Said Lugar, the teams "cannot fully compensate for the value of expanded ISAF." Senator Jon
Corzine (D-NJ) questioned whether the size of the teams would enable them to provide adequate protection for women¹s rights and human rights.

Biden also expressed concern that the Bush Administration had redefined what constitutes security and stability in Afghanistan from the "mandate of a central government controlling all of Afghanistan that is multi-ethnic and violence-free" to the lesser standard of "lack of violence." Biden stated that warlords, drugs, terrorism, and the influence of other countries in the region would continue to pose dangerous threats to Afghanistan¹s central government and the country’s stability unless the US made greater commitments. He cited Herat warlord Kahn's imposition of restrictions on women and asked if "that's stability?"

Senators of both parties also called for full appropriation of funds for the newly passed Afghan Freedom Support Act, which provides $3.3 billion in reconstruction and security assistance for Afghanistan. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the Act's chief sponsor, repeatedly asked the Department of Defense’s Rodman how much of their new $6.1 billion budget request would go for Afghanistan's reconstruction and expressed frustration that Rodman would not answer the question.

At the hearing, Afghanistan's Ambassador the United States Ishaq Shahryar, also called for the U.S. to support expansion of ISAF beyond Kabul and an increase in the force's size to at least 15,000 troops, to fund the Afghan Freedom Support Act, to provide reconstruction funding directly through the central Afghan government, and to encourage the return of Afghan exiles to the country.

The Feminist Majority has been leading the call for ISAF expansion and increases in reconstruction funding and particularly for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Human Rights Commission.

TAKE ACTION Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation; Associated Press 2/12/03; Reuters 2/12/03; New York Times 2/13/03


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote. Members of student-led Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance group Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .
 
10/17/2014 Boko Haram Claims Kidnapped Chibok Girls Will Be Released Monday - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigeria's military are reportedly negotiating the release of the nearly 300 young women and girls who were abducted by Boko Haram more than six months ago, ostensibly bringing an end to six months of activist efforts calling for their return. An adviser to President Jonathan, Hassan Tukur, told Voice of America that President Jonathan and the self-described "secretary-general of Boko Haram," Danladi Ahmadu, have been in talks in Saudi Arabia regarding the over 270 schoolgirls abducted by the extremist group in April. . . .
 
10/16/2014 Prosecutors Claim South Carolina's Stand Your Ground Law Doesn't Apply to Domestic Violence Survivors - According to South Carolina prosecutors, the state's Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to use force to defend themselves when faced with "great bodily injury," is an unfit defense for domestic violence victims who live with their attackers. . . .