Afghan Army reaches targeted
August 10, 2010
Source: NATO News Release
By Maj. Dan Huvane, USMC
NTM-A (NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan) Public
KABUL -- In a positive development for the
country's rapidly expanding security capability, the
Afghan National Army announced today at the Ministry
of Defense that it reached the benchmark strength of
134,000 soldiers two months ahead of schedule.
The announcement, made by Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi in
a press conference held jointly with the International
Security Assistance Force, signified that progress in
recruiting and retention is outpacing attrition in
recent months, and congratulations on the achievement
were immediately extended by ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen.
Emblematic of the growing capability of the army
were the other topics of discussion, which included
flood relief in the eastern provinces, special forces
operations against insurgent networks, and planned
security for next months' parliamentary elections.
Asked if the assistance provided recently to
Pakistan to aid in their flood relief efforts meant
that victims in Logar and Paktya provinces suffered
more, Azimi replied that helping a neighbor did not
preclude saving Afghan lives. He pointed out that 2,
186 Afghan lives were saved by the military in
operations conducted by both aviation and ground
Azimi also responded to questions on whether rising
casualties indicate poor coordination between the ANA
and ISAF, inviting reporters to see for themselves the
coordination center. He emphasized that this is an
Afghan fight, and that consequently, Afghan soldiers
will bear more of the burden.
"The Coalition came a long way to be here, and they
have suffered more casualties than at any other point,
so remember that in war, even success in battle comes
at a price," said Azimi.