Karzai Takes Key Step Toward Transition

Areas around the Afghan capital of Kabul will be among the first seven parts of Afghanistan to transition to full Afghan security control, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday. “We know that the people of Afghanistan do not want the defense of their country to be on others, and also those who have helped us during the last 10 years cannot afford any more sacrifices for our security and defense,” said Karzai in a speech in Kabul. His remarks signal the start of a process that will see Afghan security forces assume full control of the whole nation by the end of 2014. Some of the other areas that will initially transition include Panjshi and Bamiyan provinces (north of Kandahar), Herat in western Afghanistan, Mazar-e-Sherif in Balkh province, and Methalam in Laghman province. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)