tv M. Homayun Qayoumi Discusses the Future of Afghanistan CSPAN March 3, 2017 8:00pm-9:39pm EST
of its kind in the world in 1888. >> watch c-span's cities tour of san jose, california, on saturday at noon and sunday. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. tonight on c-span 3, the chief adviser to the president of afghanistan. then interviews with freshman members of congress tom o'halleran and al lawson. then a gathering of the governors at the national meeting of the governors association. the dheef achief adviser to afghanistan's president was in washington, d.c. today where he discussed the security
situation, efforts to fight government corruption, and economic development. this is 90 minutes. >> you have mr. qayoumi's biography and the details. what i think is really critical, however, is he is the chief adviser to president ghani in dealing with infrastructure, human capital, and technology. far too often when we talk about afghanistan, we talk about it in terms of practical events, military encounters, the number of advisers or the numbers of troops. but the future of afghanistan and the success of any kind of counterinsurgency campaign is a matter of dealing with human
beings. it is a matter of winning popular support. it is a matter of mixing security with development and providing the basic needs that people have. the needs that lead them to support the government that provide the kind of sustained capability to actually turn a counterinsurgency campaign into some kind of meaningful victory. and that, i think, is what mr. qayoumi is going to be addressing. what we're going to do is have him provide an overview of some of the key developments taking place in afghanistan. he and i will then have a brief dialogue, and we'll open things up to questions. now, let me repeat that word question. it usually ends with a question
mark. it is not a speech, and it has to be simple enough so somebody can understand the question and answer it. if you look around, you also see that we need to give people the opportunity or as many people as possible the opportunity to ask that question. one question. and i will ask that when you have the opportunity to please identify yourself so people in the audience know who you are and some idea of your affiliation. with that, mr. qayoumi. >> good afternoon, everyone. such a pleasure to be back at csis and to have a chance to have a conversation about what's going on in afghanistan. first of all, i would like to express on behalf of the afghan people and its government --
express our deep gratitude for the support by the u.s. government and the u.s. taxpayers have done for afghanistan. a special tribute is always in order to all of the families and all of those fallen heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of democracy, in the cause of freedom, in the cause of fighting global terrorism. the question will be is the fight over. no. unfortunately, if you look at in the past, you know, 15 years after 9/11 how the ecology, pathology, and morphology of terrorism has really changed. if you look at its ecology, how we're dealing with networks of terror and networks of illicit
activity. we're talking about drug trade from human trafficking to trafficking of antiquities to terrorism, and all of these organizations have been working far more efficiently than we would like to see governments work. secondly, when you look at the pathology of these organizations, you start from al qaeda all the way to daesh, how that whole pathology that when you look at groups whose only interest is destruction, whose only interest is denial of peoples' rights, and if you look around afghanistan, afghanistan, we -- the government is fighting over 20 global terrorist organizations, and people from russia to china to usbekistan
are fighting in afghanistan. people who have no fight against afghan people or the area, but somehow they feel that they are part of this whole pathology of this death and destruction. the final aspect of morphology is how these organizations are moving and becoming more lethal at a faster level. if you look at, for instance, al qaeda. it took them over a decade to develop the level of lethality that they got to, but by contrast when you look at daesh, it took them a year or two. so when you look at all of these combinations, today the afghan soldiers are fighting that fight not only for defending their own country, but also supporting the entire democratic world. since december of 2015, the afghan soldiers took over that task. all of the fighting that is
happening in afghanistan is done by the afghan soldiers. the foreign forces are there to support on the training and logistical support. despite all the casualties that we're having, they've not had any problem in recruitment because the afghan people know and believe that this is their fight and they should make that sacrifice. so within that one, that gives you in terms of what's been happening on the picture as a whole. but if you look at the number of foreign forces that we have currently in afghanistan, it's less than 10% of what it was in 2014. yet with all of that, in terms of any movements between these insurgencies and government forces, the amount of territory held has not really made any major difference. in there lies the issue on how we can really try to break that
stalemate in how we can work towards success. and if i quote one comment from senator mccain's speech to s.a.c. on february 9th, when he said our concentration over the past several years has been on the number of troops rather than success. that's when i think looking at that success is going to be so much important and the plan on how we can move forward and try to address this not only as an issue of afghanistan, but an issue of the fight against global terrorism. we look at the current administration of afghanistan two years ago when it took over. president ghani gave his first major speech in london on self-reliance and basically his speech was how we can really create markets for afghan products. recognizing that, when you look at 4 billion people in the world, especially when you look at very underserved areas, the
key impediment they have is the generation of markets. they do not have access to markets and also access to capital for investment, so concentration has been -- how we can really do that and what are the ways we can proceed in that area because there has not -- i don't think there's a single country in the world that can really only rely on foreign aid. there's not any country that has moved from poverty to prosperity through foreign aid. it's usually investment that can really change a country in a very fundamental way. so within that one, we got to very basics if we're trying to move the economy, how we can really do that. first of all, what are the resources that afghanistan has and how we can use those assets in a most effective fashion. so part of it was to ask these
basic four questions. what are the kind of things that the country should grow improving agriculture? what do we need to extract in the mineral sector? and what do we need to trade in terms of trade and transit? and then finally, what do we need to manufacture? and from that basic questions, we built the economic structure and plans of the country. first in terms of what to grow, afghanistan, a country that has traditionally -- agriculture was always a big element of the country, but the amount of land that has been irrigatable land compared to the 1980s it's about 20% while the population has grown more than twice as much. so the first element was how we can really develop agriculture. so developing agriculture had several elements. one, given the fact that we're in a very arid environment, we need to be able to have more
dams and irrigation systems. and one aspect of that is our -- the global warming aspect. compared to three decades ago, the amount of snow actually melts about three weeks quicker than it did three decades ago. in the past, the frozen tundra was the storage. now we get it to liquid form. if we do not store it, it goes away, so building dams became of major importance. in the last year and a half, we have designed development and construction of about 29 different hydroelectric -- 29 different dams, some of them on hydroelectric, but most of them for irrigation purposes. the total capacity of these dams
is equivalent to about two and a half hoover dams, so it is sizable. so that in a major way would impact our agriculture. secondly, we've looked at other elements in terms of -- for instance, in most countries if you do not have the agricultural land very levelled, you lose a lot of water and also your yield is lower. with that, we're able to reduce water consumption by about 25%, but increase a yield by about 30%. and then also looking at markets, how we can really look at connecting these elements to the market and looking at the cash crops, such as a few of them have been very successful from saffron to mipistachios to pine nuts to a series of vegetables and fruits or whatever in contrast to wheat. we can never compete with a
country like kazakhstan that is not that far from us. it is essential to us to develop cash crops that those environments cannot really provide. so that's how we have looked at the agricultural side. on the mineral sense, we have not been as successful as we would like to be. unfortunately, some of the euphoria that started about seven or eight years ago has not really come to fruition. part of it was not having the skill sets on the legal sense as well as understanding those markets very well, had really led to a lot of those false starts. part of our efforts -- and the last element was -- if you look at it sense 2008, the commodity markets has really been low and that has also impacted us. for instance, even some of those contracts that was given when
oil was $130. when it dropped to about 40, it was hard to keep those same companies as interested to do exploration. similarly when -- on a copper mine contract when the standard royalty was about 7 or 8 -- 6 or 7%, this is too good to be true. usually when those things are too good to be true, that is really the case. so these are some of the kind of challenges that we have gotten ourselves into, so what we're looking at right now is how we can really build that capacity, look at these contracts in a very transparent way. and we've broken that into key elements. first, how we can develop our oil and gas, which usually takes the shortest period of time followed by construction materials. for instance, afghanistan has 50 different kinds of marbles, 42 different colors of marble, some
rival italian marbles, so that's one element. from that all the way to elements such as chromates and others through this opportunity, even in terms of coal, afghanistan has over a billion tons of high quality to anthracite level high sulfur coal that could be developed. moving on from that one to semiprecious materials, we have plenty which could really be a major job creation for women and less skilled individuals, especially in the rural area, to metals, coppers, and iron to the last area, which is strategic materials such as lithium. afghanistan is one of the major sources of lithium. the two major areas that are not part of the chinese reserves is
the one in greenland and afghanistan, so these are the two areas that we see. the last is we have 14 of the 17 earth materials which are strategically important. the next important area of course was movement of goods and the movement of trade particularly. when you look at trade, given the location of afghanistan it's a major asset. and how we can really try to take the geographic advantage that afghanistan has because traditionally we were part of the original silk road, but in the last few centuries we've become a cul-de-sac as the marine trade started. so far our whole effort is how we can make afghanistan to be the roundabout for the region rather than a cul-de-sac. we have concentrated on three key areas.
in movement of goods, afghanistan is going to be the main thoroughfare that china is building. a railroad plan through that one would actually get -- right now if you look at goods from china to europe, it takes about several months, but through that railroad system it would take seven to eight days. it would be a major change from that point. but also not sound traffic. if you look at all the central asian countries, the closest port to them is north south rather than east-west to be a major element. the second element of that trade is going to be energy. if you look at central asian countries that are endowed with a good level of energy versus afghanistan and india that have major deficiencies -- for instance, pakistan has a deficit
of electricity. i'll give you an example of one industry. p panjab, the industry dropped by 4 billion because of lack of electricity. adequate electric, that could be over a $4 billion industry. we have already started two projects. one that costs $1,000 to get from afghanistan to pakistan. 1,000 megawatts for pakistan. 300 for afghanistan. secondly, there's a project in pakistan th pakistan. but the potential is for more than 15,000. that could easily be accommodated. the last area is data. if you look at the data, the
internet traffic globally, half of that is between europe and asia. if you look at those that are familiar with the routing of that, it goes through europe to the mediterranean through the swiss canal, the red sea, then wraps through china on the east side of china. that's why data packet takes about 130 milliseconds to send from europe to asia. through these -- of course, those cables have maintenance issues as well as now people that can sniff those data. we're talking about one cable that we're looking at which will be part of a gas pipeline that will connect from india to turkmenistan. then there's a similar piece under the caspian sea.
there's one pipeline already to italy, so we can have this line of italy to india fiberoptics that will rival and would be a great alternative for the tra tratran trans siberian fiber. by this fiber, we can cut that transmission time by about 35 to 40 milliseconds. every millisecond is worth about $100 million a year. so we're talking about 3 to $4 billion of potential savings in that area. secondly, if you look at china's data traffic as you're looking at no more connection to africa, it's going to be potentially through two areas. one through china and then to the gulf and to africa, but also an alternative could be in
afghanistan to africa. so these three elements for afghanistan has the potential of over $3 billion of income within a decade or so, so we see that -- that's the potential of the trade area for afghanistan. and the last one is manufacturing. one of the major dividends for afghanistan was the work that was done by the isa forces. all the bases they built for afghanistan has tremendous asset value over $14 to $15 billion. to give you an idea of the size of those ones, a base that was built in the helmet area is bigger than the airport. the one that was built in kandahar housed over 17,000 u.s. soldiers and similarly in other parts of the country. but these ones from the security system to the water and roads and telecommunication, all of
that, all of those are hardware having those sites to be special economic zones for export would be a tremendous advantage. that's basically what we've been working on. last year we built the first infrastructure plan for the country where we looked at all these key areas. we built the railroad structure plan. we developed a national power grid for the country. right now power and electricity in afghanistan is nine different islands connecting and only serving about 30% of the population. we are going to be building a national grid in the next five years, but also get us right now 77% of the electricity is important. in five years, we'll get to self-sufficiency and get to a
point that we can actually export electricity. on the roads, we're building a lot of the main arteries between north and south a, and on the fiber infrastructure, as i mentioned about the financial opportunities of that one, we broke the government monopoly so the private sector can invest in it. and also the infrastructure as a whole, if you look at the last quarter -- the last half of 2016, we were able to attract a good level of investment, both foreign and domestic. we've attracted over $800 million of investment in the electricity area, and this is building some hydropower plants as well as solar projects, natural gas, and more. so we see the potential of that area to be quite a bit more. right now we have over a dozen
other projects in that specific area. but to do all of these infrastructure projects, just a couple more elements on that one. in terms of infrastructure projects, the number of dams that we have started in the last year and a half is more than what we've done in the prior maybe 200 years or so. if you look at the amount of electricity projects generation that we have started in the last year, it's more than we have done in the prior 60 years. the number of other -- so i think in terms of major changes that we see, the railroad was a dream of afghanistan back from the days of 1880s after finishing the swiss canal talked about a railroad from berlin to bombay. afghanistan became that area that the rural did not at that time want the railroad. that actually is happening. so i think you can see that there's some major changes in
those areas. but having said so, i think some of the other changes that we have seen i think the economic downturn we saw after 2014 was a very serious one. it was basically a recession bordering on depression. i don't think anyone had really looked at the deep impact that the economy of the country would see because the prior economy was a pseudo economy. when the government took over, our imports were 21 times the export. a country of 30 million -- i'm sorry an export of 133 million. how can you sustain any level of unemployment? we took the government purchasing power to create a lot
of exports and employment. it's been a major effort. in the government contracts we're giving local products 25% preference. as part of that one, there are nine to 11 key elements. the country has become self-sufficient. i'll give you one of them. not the most healthy one. in you look at 2001, the government of afghanistan was importing $500 million of soft drinks. today it is exporting $200 million a year. compared to the data of 2016, the exports -- now the imports are about 13 times as much as x exports. a major shift from 2014, but there's a long way to go and the plan is within the next five years to get the balance of payments zero and hopefully can see more and more exports from
that point of view. transparency and accountable is one thing because afghanistan was so much plagued with corruption on all areas of the country. one of the key initiatives was the start of a procurement area where all the major procurements was down through the national procurement council. the president sits on that one. that's a weekly meeting that starts from 6:00 p.m. and sometimes goes three to four hours, but we have seen major savings there. for instance, just in the ministry of defense, the savings last year was over $250 million. we see similar savings in the ministry of interior. they're far behind than that, but across all of the ministries in the government purchases, we have seen quite a bit of it. the way that -- other changes, for instance, we had to change a lot of the entrenched positions.
the government changed over 90 generals in the armed forces that had been there for a long period of time. major changes in the judiciary that happened where i think over 80 judges had to be replaced and also a strong interest in bringing in female judges to the system. over a year ago, the president nominated the first woman justice in the supreme court. ironically, the fact that she lost was eight women parliamentarians not showing up that day because of the threats they received, but he has made a commitment next year when it is the new opportunity for him to appoint another justice, he is going to be nominating another woman to be part of the supreme court. so i think we're seeing improvements in many of the positions across the government in bringing more women to key
positions. as part of that one, education and human capital is an area of deep interest. and for that, we have been working on developing plans not only for the universities, but really getting the curriculum aligned with the country, but more emphasis on the vocational technical. although in the prior years we developed a lot on the vocational technical, not much was done to align the needs of the industry with the skills that people were given. i mean we have a lot of challenge of that in the u.s. as well. we have been adopting the german model of apprenticeship. we'll have five schools starting next month and reengineer a lot of these two-year associate degree programs to provide the
skills that the country really needs. so i think if i just kind of conclude on some of the key projects that we've done, i think you'll see despite all of what you hear in the news, there are major changes happening in afghanistan that are for the long haul it's going to make a major difference. some of the key projects that have started are projects for the afghan people it was a dream for a long time. the railroad, people have been interested in that since the late 1800s. actually that's happening today. there was one hydroelectric dam that the project had started over 40 years ago, and for the first dam that was completed in afghanistan last year, it was the first dam after 40 years. that was jubilation all over the country, and we have over 6 million cubic meters of water producing 42 megawatts of power.
a third irrigation project, which is along our south and helmet areas of all places, which we got investment from a turkish company. they're embracing that dam. it will irrigate over 100,000 hectares, but the important element to remember is this is a project that was promised to these people 70 years ago during the monarchy and that project has actually happened. i think the key is we're seeing some major changes on those areas. and lastly, i would look at the city of kabul. back in the 1920s, the plan was to move all of the government offices and ministries to one area of the city where we have an old palace. that's actually happening because all of the ministries in
one area will free a lot of the very expensive real estate in the downtown areas, which could be redeveloped and developed for different purposes. and somebody is trying to develop a lot of these basic services, whether it's from cleaning streets or collecting garbage or storm drainage and weather. in these basic elements the city has really come a long way and we're seeing major changes. with that, i hope i can give you a thumbnail of some of the key elements. does that mean that there are no challenges in afghanistan? absolutely there's a lot of challenges, but i think the commitment and the engagement of the u.s. is needed far more because heaven forbid how many of us would even conceive if all of this fails because it's going to be something far worse than
we saw in 9/11. the forces of global terror are working day and night. especially for afghanistan, having a neighbor that harbors these and provides a refuge for them makes the issue that more challenging. that's why the deep commitment of the u.s. is so much appreciated and so much needed, especially at this point. with that, let me stop there and thank you for your patience. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> i think you've outlined a very clear set of opportunities for the future. but to get to that future, you have to get through the present. and the last year was one in which significant areas were taken over by the taliban and other groups. there were no military
challenges. before the u.s. election, the decision was made that basically plans to withdraw u.s. advisory groups simply were not practical. this was a decision made before the election by the obama administration, and we went from basically withdrawing advisers in 2016 to keeping them through 2021 without really defining the size of the advisory effort, without any public discussion of the counterterrorism force, and without any discussion of the role of u.s. air power and other allied countries. i think that gets to an obvious question. as you look toward these economic opportunities, are you getting a clearer picture of
where we are going in the security dimension? >> well, absolutely. i think first of all you have to keep in mind the key relationship between security and economic development because they are intertwined in a very major way. first of all, if you go back and look at -- like 2014, 2015, 2015 was really an -- because i think many of the negative forces thought the country after the foreign forces would relinquish their combat role, the country would very much fall like what happened in iraq and the syria area. this would be another major look for isis, like location.
unfortunately and specifically one of the other things that really impacted us, in some strange way the ukraine crisis impacted afghanistan in a major way. the reason for this is if you go back early on over a decade ago, the decision was made to use rotary helicopters, the mi-35 helicopters medevac for afghanistan. after the ukraine crisis with the congress sanction, we could not use any u.s. funds to be able to acquire any spare parts for any repairs or any new ones. that caused a crisis for afghanistan. despite all of that one, i think what's remarkable is that our forces were able to hold their ground. and if you look at the situation
right now, apparently 36% of the districts is in the government control about 4%, the insurge y insurgency, then it goes back and forth. we had over 100,000 combat forces from foreign forces, the isa forces fighting in afghanistan, so i think that part of the security has not really changed much. has it been more in the centralization of it? i think yes. if you look at after october of last year when we had the brussels meeting for the fall of the donners at the eu headquarters, we have seen an escalation of that fight, which is far more than you can say -- it looks more of an organized
army fighting afghanistan. the level of casualties they were trying to inflict as high casualty as they can. that's why the level of casualty in 2016 ended up to be much higher than the prior decade. so i think just to kind of state the challenges that we've had, but i think the other side of it is we're really looking for development projects to engage local communities. not only immediate job creation, but also providing them opportunities that they see their future connected to these projects. i'll give you an opposite side of that. in the eastern part of the country, we have kabul where the first hydroelectric plant was built in the 1950s. those people even until today are not having electricity. if you are living with a ca
kerosene lamp all your life, i don't think you have much connection with that or its existence or its working. what we're trying to do right now is how we can develop these utility or economic corridors so we can have not only roads, power, electri electrify. lastly, the project that i mentioned earlier that was promised over 70 years ago, it is in the helmet area, one of the most conflicted areas. and the locals have warned the taliban, especially the one in pakistan, that you better stay
away from this because this is our future and this is our livelihood. so the locals are really the ones who are really taking that in warning all these insurgencies coming from pakistan that these projects are vital to our future. so this is beginning to be a longer term issue, but this is where we see the hope of the future where economic opportunities would buttress the security environment also.see te economic opportunities would buttress the security environment also. >> i think as you look at this it must be somewhat striking that there is virtually no mentioning of afghanistan by either candidate during the presidential campaign here. you decided not to withdraw the advisers, but you set no goals for what the advisers or air
power or counterterrorism force should be and no candidate, neither candidate, ever mentioned the subject of all the studies that have been commissioned here to deal with security, none of them have as yet touched on the issue of afghanistan or the levels of aid involved. and as you point out, for there to be a successful structure, security, and economics have to have an integration. is there any point at time where you have as yet had any idea of what kind of security assistance, what kind of plan, the u.s. intends to provide for the future?
>> first of all, i'll speak to the security report a few days ago. the isis forces are under more pressure in the iraq and syria area. you're telling all of your supporters to concentrate more on afghanistan. assuming with a magic wand tomorrow we see basically a repudiating of daesh and isis in that area, i think there's going to be a heavier involvement of these international groups in afghanistan. and not only that. as i mentioned, around afghanistan we have the highest concentration of all global terrorist organizations if you look at it compared to any other parts of the world. every night in the afghan forces
are engaged between 10 to 15 different fronts every night, fighting these international terrorist organizations. and also it's true that a large person, general nicholson, whose comment was that 70% of these daesh members are coming from pakistan from one particular clan of tribes. so i think the fight that is happening in afghanistan is part of fighting international terror. that's the biggest part of the fight. it has no element of, you know, how people portrayed it years ago as a civil war issue. when you have all of these groups cultivating such a large
part of the poppy growth globally, you can see are they really fighters are drug cartels.a are they really fighters are drug cartely are they really fighters are drug cartels. i think this is where u.s. public and specifically the major, i think, policy, especially in washington, really need to raise that issue as part of this whole change in the ecology of terrorist organizations and how it's really playing a role in afghanistan because that's the fight of all of the -- the u.s. as well as all of the free societies because their whole element is breaking that whole bind between the citizen and the governments, which really has become the basis of what daesh has been really fighting.
so i think this is where groups such as csis could really play a major role in having and opening that dialogue up because for many i don't think they're really that knowledgeable about the deep connection between what's happening in afghanistan and the fight on global terrorism. >> before i turn things over to a broader question, you also touched on the fact that at least in the near term you face really serious economic and population employment problems. i think that there were some warnings as we pulled the troops out the aid would become a problem, but above all an economy based on large amounts of military spending and contractors would collapse almost immediately. and it's interesting a study
done by the aga foundation shows an almost direct correlation between that withdrawal and how afghans saw the national mood. support for positive view that afghanistan was going in the right direction peaked in 2013 before the withdrawal at about 58%. at the end of 2016 popular faith that the country was moving in the right direction dropped to 29%. and that correlated very sharply to the economic problems as well as the security problems. looking at this the good news was that popular support for armed opposition groups actually dropped very sharply during the same period by more than 50%.
and 77% of afghans show no support at all, but that takes me to the problem of government and politics. and i don't wish to put too much pressure on you, but i'm going to put some anyway. >> i'm feeling it already. >> satisfaction with government performance dropped from something around 78% to 50% over those two years. and the perception of corruption, which has always been a problem at a national level, rose very sharply at the local level. the political -- the basic problems of governance remain critical, and i wonder if you could talk a little more about how you are trying to deal with
these present issues as well as the broader development problems which, as you've timed it or discussed the time frame, produce results five to ten years in the future. >> sure. well, first of all, i think if you look at -- going back to 2014 time frame with the withdrawal, if i go back even to 2010, 2011, working on the transition plans and the economic downfall is part of it, but i don't think anyone expected the level of downturn we saw because in a way the economy that had been developed under the prior administration, afghanistan was very much a consumptive economy. an economy that was totally an aid-based economy. an economy from a country that was at least from an agricultural point of view not only self-sufficient, but always was an exporting agricultural
country to a point we developed a dubious distinction of food going from the cities to the countryside. a country getting poultry from places as far away as brazil. i don't think the poultry requires such a big infrastructure or know-how or whatever. so i think the former administration of afghanistan created such a consumptive economy that the jobs that were there were such a big part of the industry and really became the jobs that was supporting the armed forces. and the indirect impact is what people were seeing as better employment and a better way of life. i recall the first time -- this is in 2015 -- when i went there and there was a helicopter ride
with the habitat. when i came back, the president asked me what did you see. one of the questions was where people are really working because the whole country, the whole whole city of kabul looked like a community. all of them were working service sector for supporting the armed forces. that's why the drop was more than anybody predicted. as part of what we have been building right now is a stainable economy. the data from 2016 is that we built -- we have 2.6% economic growth and the projections for the 2017 is somewhere between 4 to 8. the reason i say 4 to 8 because they our economic activity as growth has been connected to the amount of snow and rain we get. the snow we got is about highest that we have had in 21 years and
the last time we had this kind of snow the economic growth was 12%. so that's one of the elements that in the more immediate yun. in terms of people's perceptions when people 70% of the population are making $2 or less and even at 30% or so, around the dollar, that means a large number of people are getting one or two meals a day. when somebody stomach is empty it hard to keep them happy with the situation. in terms of corruption, there's still a lot of corruption. but i think with some of the changes that has happened if you look in the 2016 -- 2015
transparent was one of the lowest in the administration, bottom 3 to 4. it moved up eight notches. when 2016 comes it will go higher. it not enough. so changes have been made and have moved forward but maybe not to the speed that people's expectation have been i think that entitled to have those expectation from the government. if you go back to the fact that when we have the number of large number of country what country in the world this year accepted more than 1.1 million people? it was all of the people from
pakistan came back. when you look at 2017 we'll have similar numbers. so when -- what country in the world where they are fighting ten to 15 different fronts every night from fighting terrorists from over 20 countries. you have to look at all of those elements within that context that's how we look at it t. as far as the general population to serve better, absolutely our plans are government is working on to make lives better, absolutely. have we achieved the level efl successful we would like to, no. part of it has been the multitude of all of these different issues that has -- in the last is the nature of the
government makes it that much more difficult in getting anything moving because it requires so much effort which is not really the case in a normal election process. so i think those are some of the things. by what we see the prospects to the future looks hopeful, not as fast as we would like but at least the gaze we are making is stainable than short term. >> thank you, very much. ladies and gentlemen, i'm going to open up for questions. we do have microphones. wait for the microphones. if you would identify yourself, and ask one question ending in a question mark, it would be grateful. let me begin with the gentleman
in the second row. >> we discussed the problem why you were. [ inaudible ] you brought up two excellent points -- >> it's on. >> two excellent points. one was that a country cannot put back on a feet by donation only. so investment is important. in the second point for the locals the locals want to help. now my question to you was, that you have deposited in afghanistan that you can start today in less than two years you have the product. the small mining if you have these projects the people will help for the security because it is a job maker, helping the
area. how close you are to start small mining in afghanistan? >> well first of all, thanks for the question. the great service and help that you studies have provided for afghanistan i think data that came out several years ago, give uses of optimism but also the success that afghanistan can have in the future. in terms of the mining, the approaches we are giving in terms of legal framework that we can do this in transparent way in a way that would have a level playing field, those are the kind of things we do not have. yes, have we given a lot of mining contracts in the several
years, over 400. how many of them have been transparent, how many of them was given to a point that would give fair market value and how much was done through less than transparent and way. so i think our hope right now is at this point to get to a better legal region for extrackive. because that's the least transparent. for a country that has limited legal it's even more. specifically in our mining ministry, with a leadership changes and challenges and lack of adequate staff, qualified staff. this was six months ago, the
president has meetings with different ministry and we have one of the director level and above with that ministry, the president was quite taken back. what i realize is such a small level of capacity professional capacity there in the ministry, either we have those who went to the political soviet style school that started back these have more than 30% have been outside of the country or some who recent graduate from university very few have knowledge specifically in the extrackive industry or legal sector being trained abroad. part of what we have been doing is build the framework soon. work on some of the contracts we have whether it's in the special
in the oil and gas sector as well as construction material which some of them find in the level in a much more open way. our open within the next year we see some significant changes. >> the gentleman in the second row. >> hello. russian is flirting with afghanistan. why is it doing that? what timing tells you. in appears that afghanistan are not happy with that in what you are doing completely to stop it? thank you. >> i think it's unfortunate that russian's role in afghanistan on the security side had really took a change after the ukraine
crisis. i think the news that they have been collaborated with taliban or supporting taliban has been unfortunate and they have been doing it. any country recognizing or differentiating between good and bad terrorists is making a major mistake. and trying -- for russian trying do this under the folly this is the way they can stop, when you look at the taliban groups with all of these 20 terrorists organizations all of these groups compete but as well as collaborate in different areas. this is bad thing. when you have countrying
becoming part of sponsoring terrorisms it's not good for the region and our hope is that russian would begin to see the light in such activities. >> the gentleman in the fourth row. >> thank you. my name is mohamed. you talked about ambitious project in afghanistan. do you agree that it is still fragile in the light of of the terrorists the recent terrorists attacks in kabul that continuous insergecy do you think it's s l
intelligentble to have talks with -- substantially cut for afghanistan. so what is your perspective? >> the government of afghanistan has been interested in all parties who have a fight in afghanistan to come to the table and have discussion without any preconditions. that's how the government was able to achieve peace with one of the groups for the -- one of the groups. a year ago that gesture was made again. when the groups feel they can win in a war rather than sitting down in a negotiation, is that
part of it or is that part of motivation of their sponsors or those who pro provide for them. whenever you provide for terrorists organizations who are involved in largest drug cartel in the world are they really -- are you really providing -- are you really helping your country when you do that one. i think they are part of the taliban is president has made gestures many times and said it is open without preconditions to have discussions but they have to accept some basic facts in the constitution of afghanistan and the rule which third element of afghanistans chose are not
negotiate able he not interesting in talking. >> the gentleman in the second row. my name is michael alvin. thank you both. my question is for both you of. do you see after a month of of the new administration do you see answers to the questions we're asking about directions both militarily and in the development sphere, are we seeing a strategy being developed here in washington? >> i want to take that one first. i think it is important to note that general nickel son has come back to testify before the congress and meet where the secretary of defense and with the joint chiefs. there has been a discussion
providing a stronger adviser effort again the details of any changes in the counter terrorist force have not been made public. there's a 60-day effort to redefine in broad terms u.s. strategy, the content of that has not been defined. on the aid side u.s. made comments. it is very unclear that there will be difference. there is a discussion of the overall level of foreign aid but whether or not that's tied to afghanistan, that's not been made public. i think in fairness, we sometimes expect a little too much after more than half a century of working with transitions you almost never
really get a change in strategy forced plans and defense that lasts in less than three to six months. some of the immediate issues which we'll deal with this campaign season have been addressed. we doesn't see clear decisions on the outcome that's something that may take a while. but the administration does seem to be committed to providing a stronger train and assist mission and potentially other elements. >> what -- as you stated it, we have been harden by the current administration's focus on the issue of the global terrorism. i think that's important. i think also there are seeing the potential economic
opportunities in afghanistan as to how it can help people as for extractive industry. we have seen have been positive and that makes us hopeful. >> the gentleman in the second row. >> thank you, very much. my name is -- washington. my question is simple. from obama administration to trump administration where do you go and finally, the triangle of india and what role do you think india is playing because they have investmented $3 billion in the development of afghanistan. >> first of all, our relationship with india has been historic relationship.
it has been more than a millennia in terms of its lengths. india has been cultural relationship and afterighanistas no secret agreements with india on any topic. our relationship has been transparent. the afghan people are thankful to the support that they received from the government and people in india. the projects they are supported afghanistan has been the development projects as i mentioned that hydroelectric dam that was supported by the indian government. right now the package of aid
they have promised afghanistan is about $1 billion for the series of projects where it's going to settlement and it's going to be hospitals, human capital, as well as other infrastructure projects. so the relationship that we have with indian is a strong relationship and it's based on building a better and more secure area for the region where we can have better economic conditions for all of our right [ technical difficulty ] -- that across the borders. what the agreement that was made last year in indian where they
waived a lot of tariffs from afghanistan to india. as it relates to pakistan, pakistan has been trying to issues that challenges we have with india afghanistan being part of that issue. afghanistan has no linkage or opinions on those issues. that's bilateral issue between india and afghanistan. i'll give you an example. there's straight of land between pakistan and india and border about six kilometers less than four miles where when we get the trades from afghanistan to india, it has to go through --
it has to stop and unload everything put on the trucks and pick up in another country which is adding cost. if we can get some agreement as part of that relationship it will be -- it will enhance trades for the three countries that will have a major impact on poverty reduction in pakistan. a country in over 200 million people have economy smaller than israel. really give you an idea of how much lost opportunities that country have and how people have been kept down in terms of potential chick prosperity they can have. the example of textile industry where ten billion and they lost $4 billion which have $100 billion.
right now for instance, in the carton they get for textile industry goes to turk, to iran, to port by persian gulf. put on the boat, goes all the way to another kint acountry za on the train to another country. the same project could take a day and a half to get to those places. these are one of the elements that we offer we would rather do that one. it would be helpful for all of those countries that to give another example of that. when we trying to get gaits from india to afghanistan, since pakistan do not want it allow product to go through pakistan,
it had to be begun and through iran and some parts of other countries and it took about six months. there was a hydroelectric dam. it was producing electricity for the rural area. so our hope is that pakistan seas that stable prosperous of afghanistan adds to the stability of pakistan rather than seeing this win/lose situation which is not helping pakistan and not helping the whole area. >> you mentioned earlier the -- you used the word returny from
pakistan to iran. >> yes. >> with little notice or without support. this was over a million last year. >> yes. >> you use faced a similar level of expulsion this year. >> yes. after the spring, the numbers will start. as far as the afghan government is concerned it's all afghan. they are welcome in the country. within the resources we have we have trying see what we can do to accommodate them. one of the things that pakistan is some of the trying to -- with even advertise in mosque hindu brothers there's the word they are trying to use to develop
local kind of expulsion and hatred for those who have lived in the area for two decades or more than one generation. >> the gentleman in the back row there. >> i'm associated with the university of maryland. question is related to delayed parliamentary elections. to what extent is parliament contributing to the master construction planning? >> in terms of the infrastructure projects can you elaborate on it.
i want to make sure i understand the question correctly. >> the question was to what extent the parliament was providing input and concept toward infrastructure plan that's being developed. >> parliament annual budget goes through the parliament even the aid which has been off budget from various sources one of the elements the government has been insisted and interested is to move more and more on budget so the parliament as more say so and after sight on the projects. in terms of the elections, we'll have parliament tlelections thi year and it's going to happen. >> the gentleman in the third
row. >> hello. you spoke with some of the legal challenges facing the fining and extraction industry. you can talk about the 2009 water log. >> afghanistan being the upper right for five or six neighbors, we only have agreement with one of our neighbors from iran. that agreement took a long period of time in the making before it was signed over four years ago. and up to now, we have not had the means to implement that one and enforce it. with the dam we are looking at to start soon it could happen in a few years. those are familiar with water
laws and transboundary waters, that's difficult politically challenged area. that has a hundred years of study before it was signed. i hope that others one would not take a one years but we recognize that's one of the challenge we have to work on and look at that and try to develop a way that the -- the water that leaves afghanistan would help in a based on the international laws afghanistan is committed in keeping those. but at the same time part of it would be as a whole region recognizing that the population is growing and global warming
has not really -- has not been a friend to that area. afghanistan is a country that has the lowest of any country has the lowest carbon footprint but one of the susceptible countries in terms of global warming impacts so those impacts are coming. part of it would not not only for afghanistan but all the countries in the area to begin using water in more judicial way. it's like oxygen, that's not the way that water can be looked at. we riecognize that water is important resource and something we have a leverage on but hopelyfully we can use that leverage to improve and increase
bilateral cooperation which could be a win-win for afghanistan but the region as a whole. a simple example just by leveling land you can reduce water consumption by 25% and increase yield by 35%. wouldn't that be good to do rather than use more and more of it. >> lady in the second row. >> we are truck manufacture and assemble trucks in afghanistan. i was interesting in your comment on your increasing vocational and technical where are you with that and how that's being implemented throughout the
nation. >> the vocational technical, we had over the course of the prior 15 years, 13 years or so, we have started 300 some odd programs. but the way to a structure was doom to failure in my view. part of it was the way they were structured was the number -- we have developed third world countries an expectation everybody go to high school, go to university and they become employed. there is basically when we have over 67% of college graduate being unemployed what does it mean. it mean they did not get skills or the skills they get is irrelevant of the so in order to provide some relief politically for those who are applying for
the entrance examines universities, the they created some relief those who could not pass entrance examine will take these individuals and they can enroll in vocational technical programs. this had no interest in going to vocational program. the survey we have done 97.5% of them was not interesting in pursuing in the area they were being trained at. many were well to do familiar who are trying to run the family business why not spend all of that money and educate them in an area they would try to go to some fly by night private school and get a piece of paper that says bachelor which means nothing.
one of the people who done excellent work in that area was a german doctor who evaluated our technical program especially the old model which was massive environment and traditional skills and he realized the pmodl we have provides the largest technical people training a million people was zero government support which that similar to what similar had 150 years ago. if it you can modernize that system, that would help us and providing the vocational technical how to give -- first of all, that model takes a person five to seven years from
apprentice to master journey level how could be shortened. second how we give them individuals skills and how infuse technology. we are starting five of those schools as a pilot in about a month or so. the capital to in the north how we can bring women into the technical area because they have been male dominated. secondly for that 13, 14 years, we have been working with dutch on agriculture technical, but also develop them on along the key areas the country needs, and this is agriculture mining
logistic health care and a few more and try to work with industry, because even u.s. that has been vocational/technical has been a major failure. and the model we see is success in the german model. which is used by a several from swiss to holland. every country talk as having best higher k-12 system. that's the same as well as
immigrants. so there's a correlation between youth and unemployment and the level of apprentice ship program. we are trying to adapt a vocational model and give the training and competency in the area they need. we're working with the world bank to traini a lot of teacher and next year to try to start some of the programs in this new model. that's where we are for 13, 14. those who would be getting would start in a month or so. >> you have two more meetings to the. >> four more. >> all right. so, do you have time for another question or to or. >> sure. i'll try to be -- i'll give
short answers. >> the gentleman in the second row. >> high name is austin knicks. my question to you is how effective is the government being at transitioning afghan farmers away from opioid and other crops. >> that has not been successful at all. it's not okay that you can opium is $10 and you she grow this product for $5 but building the whole infrastructure and the supply chain system on how to get loans, how the products could get to the market, what the value added steps and thing we see happening, that is part
missing. the second part is that if you look at countries that produce opium, you're talking about countries with the gdp of below 700, so the problem is issue race everyone's economic standard you would not have to grow opium. the program we have had have not been successful and my comments about that about a month ago if you do exactly what we have done in the past and expect different results we know what we call that, that's exactly what we have on that front. >> the third row, the young lady here. >> from university of new hampshire.
what is being done to help young women and girls become educated in your country. >> it's hard to get kids interested in you don't have a lot of teachers. part of what we are trying to do is how to build more of the teacher/training level. when you talk about those programs, then place we have seen big difference between places where they have dorm miory for girls versus where they don't have dormitory.
how many have places for these girls to go to the bathroom. 89% of cell phone to what extent we can provide technology that would be more effective. they have zero about them because they would like to use the model the way they were trained in the 19th century this is where i think use of the technology and also for them seeing opportunities, the opportunities that we see is how we can really train more entrepreneurs, how many can girls can get government jobs. we were trying do that other 17 this coming year is developing small agricultural projects at
home level where people can meet their own needs, for the family but also sell some products to the local markets as well as a series of those kind of programs which one of the other programs wo we're hoping to do is called -- solar girls or something along those lines where people can have these solar lanterns that they charge and in the village as one type of product but those are kind of programs are interested to see how to bring sense of entrepreneurship and how they can become part of
that's what we're hopeful for. >> the justice sector support program where the state department. >> thank you. >> the question i was trying ask and i'll follow up, what are legal problems that you face that you would want assistance from the afghan rulers who work with us. >> i'll keep that in mind. >> next time, i'll bring it up. >> thank you. >> i have been working in afghanistan, what advice to go into that? >> it depends on what particular area of interest that you have. even more one basic, why are you
interesting in afghan. that answers that one. this is right time to be in afghanistan that's where you have most linkage and can the programs to find the right condition. >> thank you. it was pleasure. c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning,
american civil liberty's union obama plan to faze out private prisons. john lot research center discuss trump administration's move to roll back obama check rules. journal contribute discusses her recent article on how ploemploy are using big data. be sure to watch beginning live 7:00 a.m. eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. this weekend, c-span city tour will explore the live of san jose, california on book tv about silicon valley including
google, facebook and apple they talk about the success and challenges silicon valley has had on the region. >> it as moving it is ram pat. thalt raising the possibility that things will go into the other direction as they have in the past. >> then author talks about his book "not so golden after all." >> i have studied the state 50 years or more, you realize that this state is so topcy terrificry is, like a roller coaster gone bad. it could be a boom state economically one year it could be $30 billion in the next. >> on sunday 2:00 p.m. we'll take you to the beginning as we
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