tv Afghan President Discusses His Countrys Political and Military Future CSPAN November 13, 2018 12:19pm-2:00pm EST
supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> sunday on "q&a" -- california democratic congresswoman jackie speier talks about her memoir -- "undaunted." ms. speier: i was on an airstrip in the remote jungles and we were ambushed on that airstrip and shot. congressman ryan was shot 45 times and died on that airstrip. there were members of the press that died. one defector of the people's temple who died. i was shot five times on the right side of my body. bone justing out of my right arm, wound in my leg the size of a football. and it was -- observation my
god. i'm 28 years old. this is it. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> yesterday, the president of afghanistan talked about his country's security. the fight against the taliban and what he thinks the future holds for the region. we also hear from afghanistan finance minister, the forum was organized by johns hopkins school of advanced of international studies. this was from november 12. >> thanks to all of you for joining us here this morning for a very special john hopkins school of advanced of international studies event. joining the dean's forum with the strategic studies speakers series to host a unique video teleconference with the president of afghanistan. is excellency dr. ghani. behalf of saif, i'd like to
help the republic of afghanistan for helping put this together. it's a significant undertaking. it's important we host president ghani here this morning for remarks on the corner of our veterans day celebration here in the united states. i'd like to highlight we have a special guest joining us who is arriving from the airport. the afghan current minister of finance so we'll welcome him a bit later when he arrives. president ghani's subject today is entitled "service, lflessness, and commitment those words could not be more important on this day we're recognizing all american veterans of military service past and present. i'm dave barno, a professor
here. 38-year military veteran and had time here in afghanistan. which i'll mention. i'll start by saying veterans day in 2018, though, is a particularly noteworthy event. many of you have been following the news from europe that highlight how significant this particular veterans day is. this past weekend some 70 world leaders participated in a series of very special commemorations there in europe. this november 11, yesterday, marked the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i, the war to end all wars as it was billed at the time, ending on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. after over four years of war, one of the most bloody wars in humankind's history, the participants were exhausted.
but they were mindful of the immense sacrifices of the men and women who served in that conflict. at the time the most cataclysmic war the war had ever seen. the 11th of november has been set aside ever since in many of those nations whose troops fought in world war i to learn the great lessons of world war i and note the veterans of all conflicts. we're here today in part to commemorate veterans day in the united states. which in this nation is a time to honor the men and women of all airas who served our ountry in uniform. many sitting here are veterans and a number of you have served in in afghanistan. myself and both of my sons served there. together spending nearly four years in the hindu kush had.
as we observe veterans day here in america today in recognition of november 11, let's remember hose that are still serving in america's longest war. they deserve our thanks, our respect and our understanding. most of all they deserve to know a nation that knows and cares about what they're doing. and remembers this longest war for america is still being fought with americans at deadly risk every single day. our american troops that are in afghanistan because all of us sent them there and we ought to make sure we understand why. think about them on this veterans day holiday as we acknowledge the veterans of all america's wars and thank all of them. we owe every one of our
veterans a great debt of cannot easily be repaid. i served as the overall u.s. and coalition commander in afghanistan for just over 19 months. from 2003 to 2005. i interacted almost daily with senior afghan government officials and got to know the then minister of finance ghani quite well. minister ghani at the time was a legendary figure among his colleagues. was well-known by all of us in the international community in kabul. we knew and admired him for his relentless professionalism, his boundless knowledge and his
vali: good morning. i am the dean of john is hopkins sais. thank you for your comments, especially on this important day, veterans day. and thank you for your service in afghanistan and beyond. it is my pleasure to welcome you to a special conversation with the president of the islamic republic of afghanistan. he will be joining us shortly ia video teleconference. president ghani grew up in afghanistan. after attending high school in kabul he began his career at the american university of cairo. he earned a b.a. in anthropology. he later earned his m.a. and ph.d. degrees from columbia university. we're very proud to say he joined the faculty of anthropology department at johns hopkins university where he was professionor.
he went on to work for the world bank for over a decade on various projects around the world. and in 2001, he returned home as a special advisor to the united nations secretary-general's envoy to afghanistan. and in that capacity he helped draft the road map for a new democratically elected government in afghanistan. when that vision became a reality, president ghani was appointed as minister of finance. under the then-president hamid karzai. his passion for building a brighter future for afghanistan won him a medal, the highest civilian award in afghanistan. in 2004, he stepped down from his post to become the chancellor of kabul university where he founded the institute for state effectiveness, and is a world-renowned expert in the field of state
recon construction, he also co-authored the book "fixing ailing states," in 2008. in 2014 president ghani ran for and won presidency of afghanistan. we are grateful for his willingness to take time out of his remarkably busy schedule to speak with us this morning. i would like to welcome mr. president -- president ghani to sais and johns hopkins university and we very much look forward to hearing his views. also with us this morning is he member of president ghani's administration, dr. muhammed aiyuni, he served as the minister of finance and chief advisor to the president in infrastructure, human capital, and technology.
before accepting his current position in 2015, he served as president of california state university. our conversation will be moderated by david barno, a distinguished member of the school of residence at american university. he was the senior american commander of the u.s. coalition forces in afghanistan from 2003 ntil 2005. we all at sais are very much looking forward to this conversation on veterans day about afghanistan, and i would like to thank all of you for joining us today. in particular, i am honored to welcome president ghani to our gathering today. mr. president, please. [applause]
nasr, t ghani: vali mr. barno, members of the johns hopkins community, of which i consider myself a member. colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be with you, sitting here on veterans day. let me thank general barno for his distinguished service in afghanistan. a tribute to more than one million american men and women in uniform who served in afghanistan, especially to the families of 2,415 men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom and your security between 2001 and 2018. i would like to extend the special sympathy of the afghan
army to the family of major taylor, his wife, jenny taylor, and his children, megan, lincoln, aileya, jacob, leanor, jonathan, and caroline . he was murdered and he was much beloved. let me thank the u.s. government and congress for their support, and partnership, nd the american people for -- people, especially the taxpayers, for their generous support. thank you for this opportunity for a conversation. thank, dr. qayoumi, for your presence, dedication, and distinguished service and friendship. i will touch on about nine key issues. first, whose voice am i
reflecting? that of the afghan citizens. simply put, the afghan citizens are making history. let me offer some illustration. four ober 20, more than million afghans came to vote. they were not risking a traffic accident, they were risking their lives. that is a dedication to democracy and freedom. confirming the true message of eace, 2,906 gathered together, issued a fatwa that urged peace in june of 2018. displaying patriotism, the afghan security forces, american losses in afghanistan
tween 2001 and 2014 were 2,357. since 2015, still much regrettable, the entire loss of american forces in afghanistan is 58 americans. n the same period, 28,509 of -- 28,529 of our security forces have lost their lives and become martyrs for our freedom. the youth ality -- of afghanistan speak for themselves. the women of afghanistan speak for themselves. particularly demand for balanced development in the form of spatial equality is equally clear. seeking markets -- afghan
farmers, men and women, speak of market access and not charity. demanding justice -- if people think that afghans want an unequal system where some men dominate everything, they need to think twice. the largest demand is against irresponsible use of force. and the demand for application of rule of law. this is not a reform, process that's been undertaken that has not received wide public support from reform of the entrance exam to the university that used to be a source of immense corruption and now the cleanest exams for the civil servants, for teachers, and others. in all of these areas, the voice of the public is clear.
to understand, facilitate and shape the national conversation, i engage with my fellow citizens, both in kabul and the provinces on a regular basis. why? because afghan society is a stakeholder society. unless you have a face-to-face conversation in a society which is not marked by caste or major class inequalities, you have to -- you need to look each other in the eye and have a conversation. so when i go to each of the provinces i see between 1,000 and 3,000 people in groups and then we have a large meeting to sum up. since the formation of our democracy on october 20, i've s.en to helmand, other i have repeatedly visited all
seven of our army corps and nds and spoken to men women nune form. noncommissioned officers and citizens. why? to understand what are the emerging trends and where the public pulse is. based on this, i would like to argue that a new afghan, rooted in its traditions, but embracing the world and to claim a place for our country on the world stage is emerging. i am honored to voice the aspirations of my fellow citizens and deliver on their demands for reform across the whole of the government and the state. what is the context in which we have been operating for four years?
the major characteristic is uncertainty. part of this is the global picture. we are living in one of those moments, 19th century -- all that is solid seems to melt into thin air. terrorism and changing nature of war, the fourth industrial revolution, rethinking of globalization in its national institutions and organizations, and struggles over the definition of the 21st century, finition of islam, and regional cooperation, general areas of uncertainty. in afghanistan, we have had to deal with simultaneous transitions in security, political, economic and cultural parts of the state and society.
in terms of security, we have to fill the gap left by depart ured of 100,000 international troops, most of them u.s., at the end of 2014. since january 1, 2015, afghan security forces have had to assume that burden and there were like 14-year-olds suddenly assuming the responsibilities of a 30-year-old. but the change has been significant. politically, i am the first person in the history of afghanistan to have succeeded my predecessor on the basis of the will of the people and then to ensure inclusion, form the government of national unity with dr. abdullah, my key interlocketor in the election. onomically, the departure of over 100,000 american troops and around 600,000 contractors
in the riving demand, economy, we have restored it to 3%. the culture of the state was one of corruption. corruption was the culture of the state. in society, because the new tors are coming to the fort, in society and the state are engaged in a meaningful conversation that is broad, encompassing and, i hope, extremely productive. as foreign policy has been inherently linked to domestic policy with the focus on renewing trust and partnership with the united states, are foundational partner, nato. as well as with nato. with both of these partners on the first day of the administration, we signed a bilateral security agreement
and the status force agreements that legally defines our relationship. for constructive relations and other circles of foreign policy -- let me turn to the south asia trategy. that was initiated by president trump. the south asia strategy has been a game changer, making very stakeholder -- premises and modality with the u.s. and afghanistan. the afghan people have been waiting for 40 years for such a policy. by shifting from time bound to condition-based approach, it has enabled us to focus on medium-term goals and takes significant risks for peace.
we interpret the condition -based approach as preparing the conditions for self-reliance to reforms, onsolidation of democracy, and enhancement of reforms that would make the constitution, particularly the chapter on rights and obligations of the citizen, a distinctive reality nd not just an aspiration. to give concrete shapes to the condition-based approach, we have formed a compact with the united states. t has over 600 indicators. progress is measurable and is measured. equally, we are focusing on 2024 goals of self-reliance. simply put, how will we pay for the state by 2024?
the most significant bill is that of the security forces. currently it is $6.2 billion, the bulk of which comes from ssistance. august and september were spent on a very detailed examination of this, and we have concluded that we can save at least $2 illion by have two packages. $2.4 billion goes to counterterrorism, and $2 billion for security. minimally, we can meet the goal of $2 billion by 2024, because -- but hope to meet the entire cost because we must show our partners that we are partners and not just recipients. the south asia very
significantly is presenting pakistan with a choice. we hope that they will opt for the constructive option to see a stable afghanistan as an asset rather than a challenge. we hold the end of friendship and the prospects of cooperation, because given the fight against terrorism, and to the fight against poverty, and positively, the empowerment of our citizens is regional cooperation. let me turn to the war. in 1919, two chinese colonels ote a book -- i think taught and commented on -- they
described the wars of the 21st century as being unrestricted. we, unfortunately, are the site and the battleground of an unrestricted war. there is no area of our life that is not attacked. mosques, schools, universities, any als, public squares, public arena. war that is waged against armies and by armies. it is waged against the people. it is equally attacking our culture. it's attacking our religious harmony, which is of unparalleled nature in the region. it is driven by transnational terrorist networks and transnational criminal organizations. drugs are a very important component of it, and it's
important that the nature of the drugs and how it moves, and who benefits from gets to be analyzed and focused upon, because it is a driver. it is made possible by state tolerance or state sponsorship. without that tolerance or sponsorship, the containment would have been of a different order and the challenge different. we would like to suggest, to differentiate between the war in afghanistan and the war over afghanistan. the war in afghanistan is the war with itself. can we acknowledge that? our efforts on peace we have turned to. the war over afghanistan is over the definition of two platforms. a platform for regional cooperation and global security are a platform. r a launching pad for regional
stability, to build terror and criminal activity. we will suggest with humility that a performance of the afghan national security defense forces needs to be judged by their sacrifice of 28,529 martyrs in the capacity to fill the gap. there have been significant reforms while we have been fighting, but i would like to salute the patriotism of afghan security forces. every single one of whom is a volunteer. nobody is forced. if there was not the patriotic impulse, i do not think that people would sacrifice their lives for pay of $200.
the fifth wave -- this is a term i coined. we are facing the fifth wave of global terrorism beginning with anarchism, and we would humbly suggest that america's fight is against this wave rather than in afghanistan. afghanistan is a site, not the driver of the war. intensification of the war fter the adoption of the south asia strategy was predicted by us, and unfortunately our prediction has come true. we hope that our other prediction, that intensification will be followed by intensification of the peace process will be borne out. as we speak, in the last week,
another round of intense conflict is imposed on us. we feel that this is another response to the failed efforts of the election. everything possible was thrown to subvert the election, but the afghan people defied it. we will, like previous waves, continue. peace -- we are seeking peace from a stance of national consensus. i was greeted on friday by a was so d girl who self-confident that walked through the stands where i was shaking hands, holding my hand and what she said was that the children of afghanistan want peace because they would like
to grow in a secure afghanistan. this is the demand and request of every afghan. we have let the peace process, but the opportunity of this peace process was created by the south asia strategy. there should be clarity that the afghan government is both the political will and the courage to undertake the difficult challenge of peace. we demonstrated this by offering peace to the taliban ithout conditions. we equally offer peace to akistan, to put an end to the undeclared state of hostility between our two countries. should peace not prevail, my other prediction that the two societies would go to a state of mutual distrust and
increasing cultural and social hostility resembling france and germany of 1870, and 1914 is ikely to happen. that has brought an intense level of distress and the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. a society, when it verges on a consensus on defining an opponent, then becomes a difficult society to guide through the peace process. this space is open, and we need o open this space. reframing the narrative and options. there was post-9/11, one set of possibilities in the hope for quick reforms that
unfortunately afghans in charge did not avail themselves of. we are availing ourselves of the opportunity. in this regard, what we have done with the region, there are remarks. 40 years ago, afghanistan was not part of any calculation and centralization or the caucuses. today we're very proud that all neighbors al asian are looking south and looking north. we have been engaging the region and a concept, and a show where goods and people flow. it is becoming a reality. thanks again to dr. qayoumi.
in another nine months, afghanistan will become a single grid, which is one of the things we hope will be a massive reformation. from central asia to south asia. other projects are moving forward. cease-fire, the june cease-fire was a testing of assumptions. the women of afghanistan demanded it and i declared it within four days. it was reciprocated. it was implemented with 98% success, 1% was minor variation, and 1% was serious because it took place in places where the conflict had been very recent. the coming of over 30,000 taliban fighters to the afghan cities went without a single incident.
nobody lynched them, nobody attacked them. what does this show? society has a willingness to move forward and not be stuck in the past. certain societies in very difficult moments of transition need a degree of historical amnesia. overfocus on the past could cost us the future. but moving forward is extremely important. the other assumption that the taliban fighters will never accept was again proven wrong. those were the ones who openly declared that they were tired of fighting. most critically, once all of the justifications were gone, the fight today is no religious grounding.
t only the fatwa of afghan by owed by other followed the gatherings and declarations of the guardians of the two holy mosques and the imams of mecca and medina are a testament to this. the islamic level of agreements is being prepared. elections. afghanistan's central problem ince 1747, where we had continuity and when we have formed the government is the problem of succession. almost every time, with a couple of minor exceptions, uccession was contested.
the constitution of 2014 provides the framework for solving a problem that not only afghanistan, but historically all muslim states and empires have not been able to solve. succession takes place through he will of the people. circulation of the elites takes place through the will of the public, because of this, the parliamentary elections are an extremely important marker of coming together. first, i would like to salute the people, because they could not be a stronger affirmation than turning out against every possible threats where voting polls, election officials, and people have been a systematically attacked for months.
where open declarations have been made to tell them not to participate. people are participating. second, 2,500 candidates participated. their debate was vigorous and quite significant. the results have to be announced but very significant generational change took place. a lot of young people came and engaged in the political process, which is extremely important. our security forces displayed remarkable valor and discipline . valor in the sense that for six weeks systematically they created the conditions, and on that day they delivered. the enabling conditions. our air force within 96 hours delivered essential and
nonessential material to every place where ground conditions, road conditions were -- would not allow it, and the technology which a lot of international experts have told us was nonapplicable to afghanistan. in written reports, $1 billion had been spent on elections through the u.n. d.p., agency in afghanistan. any other set of enabling conditions. but the technology that we spent our own money on has been received with remarkable welcome. to the extent that now members of the complaints commission that have gone through the provinces have come back saying that the people only trust, even if they themselves are candidates, the results of the electronic voting. it's a simple, clearly managed
system and it's important. however, these successes were marked by the managerial failures of the independent commission and now the focus is that the process of preliminary announcement and final results of the election will be made credible, the votes need to be honored, and because the election commission is independent, the government in general, and i in particular, have refrained and we have made clear that any interference by government officials will be sanctioned and we have asked the complaints commission if there are any complaints against these officials and they are documented, i made it crystal clear that they will be either punished according to the law, because interference is a crime, or they will be dismissed. we are totally committed to that.
equally, let me be clear that we are totally committed to holding the presidential elections in the spring. we're we're choosing the exact words of the constitution and we want to make sure that the people of afghanistan are not judges because the next government has to finish the chapter of our history that began in 1919, and they must have demand it. reforms. let me just highlight some ssues. first one is not used to seeing afghanistan emerge as a top performer in any industry but a couple weeks ago, the business indicators of the world bank ranked afghanistan as the top performer among 10 performers in
reform in the business environment. there's a generational change, 49% of the afghan cabinet is under 40 and this is taking place across both central and provincial government. women participation has increased very significantly and we are determined to further increase it. vote the youth and women of afghanistan, but particularly these two, i'm very proud to say can speak for themselves. they don't need nterpreters. they're networked, connected and dedicated. creating the legal basis of a functional state and a dynamic economy has been probably our most significant legacy. close to 400 pieces of legislation have been passed
just to give you some illustration, the criminal code was totally devised. bankruptcy law that had not been revised since 1932 was revised municipal law that had not been revised since 1920, this i think shows the efforts that were taken by countries like korea and china, particularly hong kong and a number of other laces. national reform has been critical objectives. afghanistan in the past has been either experiencing the wrong kind of centralization where everything is stuck in the center or the wrong kind of decentralization where you go towards strong men rule at the locality without rights and bligation.
we're five levels of government and the village has been empowered. the national solidarity program that i had the honor of administering when i was finance minister, is being replaced by a citizen charter and this program unlike national solidarity is encompassing both urban and rural air aas. municipal reform has been very significant. our mayors were selected through a very competitive process. at least 120 submissions to learn and interact with them are really marking. our key weakness is in the area of distract governance, and our focus now is to ensure that district governance comes from the shadow of war and civilian leadership at the district level
. and the last issue is definition of provincial rights and obligations to make sure we can move forward. anti-corruption is a threat that ies everything together. i've personally chaired over 166 sessions of the national procurement council because about 888% of the g.d.p. is in procurement and the states is the most significant actor. we are proud that we lead this effort and moving towards electronic procurement and now centralizing procurement so this feat can be achieved. he center for justice is
indicted, our generals, ministers and others. and people are serving in prisons. but changing the culture of corruption to a culture of accountability is our most significant challenge. this is what i hope the generational in gender change end, the definition of therapy. osh approaches -- our aa proach is to redefine the gift. and redefine the rules of the . me and mental corruption anti-corruption efforts i think as gone far. for instance, claims of solders were practically nonexistent and could not be verified.
and police, we still have a ways to go. but the most significant change that this happened in this area has been our rule of law approach. the supreme court which has a reputation for mismanagement or corruption now today is considered one of the cleanest institutions and i'm honored that i nominated three judges that have been approved. and i've nominated other three judges. the attorney general's office, again, changed from being accused or described in public as a source of driving corruption to one that drives reforms. institutionally anti-corruption is critical to us, not just because the international community is in agreement that anti-corruption is fundamental, our people demand anti-corruption.
again, let's understand the cost of corruption is borne by the poorest. empowering the citizens to be selected, to be provided with services, etc., is a key to creating trust. regional connectivity has been another major focus. afghanistan had only one runway erminal in 2014 and have two more. and we're working both on transmission lines. last week a private sector memorandum was signed where several thousand megawatts of power will be transferred directly from turkmenistan to afghanistan to pakistan railway.
the doctor is leading an effort for a railway, from two provinces that could significantly change captivity -- connectivity and other rojects are all under way. that's the beginning, we hope. our trade with central asia is every year increased by leaps and bound and we hope. the air corridor that we launch with india with $00,000 of state support, our exports increased very substantially in recently in mumbai, in member of understanding, for over $200 million. a couple weeks ago we launched the first corridor to china and now through the turkish airline we've been able to reach europe and south arabia and emirates is art of the land corridors.
the transformed development to georgia and equally the opening of uzbekistan has been transformational, cost of connectivity to china has been halved. this feat brought from three months to one week. afghanistan is fast. taking advantage of close to $3 billion market -- india, china, the region, and moving on. let me conclude with politicks as a vocation. my john hopkins period, my columbia john hopkins period
were particularly marked by politics as a vocation. and on citizenship where it was argued that the public is formed to a conversation. we faced impossible odds, seemingly impossible odds. we still face very difficult choices and conditions but human agency are seeking dignity based on an immensely rich historical heritage of thousands of years, a sense of lee gallontarianism -- legaltarianism, and a place earned by sacrifice, national unity where the slogan that i run with that no one else runs,
is superior or inferior, that is literally a paraphrasing of the constitution. global partnerships and regional partnerships are our way out of this. we can, must, and will overcome the recent past. next year, 2019, are going to be marked by three anniversaries. the 40th year of the soviet invasion that plunged us into immense suffering, loss of millions, refuge of tens of millions, and destruction of all our infrastructure and assets, but also the 100th year anniversary of our independence that when we declared independence in 1919 was one of the very few countries then in
the muslim world, in the nation, that was stable and with a vision. he unfinished chapter of 1919, both becomes us and haunts us. it argues we must finish and close the vicious cycle. it haunts us because it's a dream is not fulfilled. it becomes a nightmare. we can claim our civilization of heritage and despite all the problems this is a fundamentally moderate society. there are extremist groups and individuals but the society a -- is a fundamentally consensus eeking and moderate society. and to own our future. thank you for the opportunity for a conversation. i'm delighted to be with you
virtually and let me thank again the hopkins community. for years of friendship and an environment that was truly unique, as we know. john dewy graduated from there and the seminar was invented there. i've learned the meaning of ommunity through my colleagues and i learned an enormous amount and particularly when hi the pleasure and honor of teaching some of the best students and working with colleagues. t me also thank mr. brickman and others for making this event happen. thank you. [applause]
>> thanks so much, president, it is terrific to see you again. i got the honor of moderating some questions that have been posed by our students and then after perhaps addressing a few of those we'll open up the discussion for questions from the audience which also includes the media. here's a few thoughts framed by some of our students here. number one, given the recent security incidents across afghanistan, how would you, mr. president, describe the overall security situation in the ountry as a whole? >> would you like me to take the questions one by one? >> that would be terrific if you can do that and i think we have two or three from the students and then identify people in the audience to ask questions in five or 10 minutes.
>> sure. the question of security is the stated risk of collapse, no. why? because as long as we have our commander forces and our air force, we will be able to retake. are the losses horrific? yes. most of the losses occurred in defensive positions because deployment was static and we are ethinking. what is driving it? what is driving it is that now i will humbly submit strategy is under attack. we feel that all the conditions for a breakthrough are available o move forward but positioning
to make sure that peace does not take place from strength but from perceived weakness. have we experienced this before? yes. we first experienced it in 2006 when we came from the brussels conference and all six of our army corpses were attacked and we were able to o overcome it. second, six weeks prior to the election, we saw some of the worst fighting and overcame. at that time the media predicted the fall of up to five provinces. none of that's happened. bottom line, again, the nature of the war is not between armies. if it were that, it would be a different war. what makes this war horrible is that civilians and social institutions, communities are
attacked. and there we need the global oice and regional voice to emphatically come and say this is unacceptable. his type of war is no result that is protective and it could ---- the most dangerous thing is it could break the consensus that is forged through years of effort regarding seeking peace. >> mr. president, related question on cooperation between the coalition of the united states, its security forces and those of afghanistan? as we look at that long-standing now almost 18 years, security cooperation effort, where would you say it is the strongest today and where would you see that that cooperation needs change or needs some improvements. >> first of all, i'd like to
thank you as a former commander, and say thank you to all of your predecessors and successors, and say what a privilege it's been for me to work with general campbell, general nicholson, and now general miller. unlike where you commanded one government and the united states ee totally eye to eye. illustration, one of the most significant reforms was implementation of the inherent law where hundreds of generals would return with benefits. -- would retire with benefits. there's a total renewal of the leadership. that army that now exists i think you probably will not recognize. it has come into its own. second, there is a clear division of flavor.
we are doing the fighting and the dying as it is our obligation. he support is precise. it is well thought through and it's demand driven. i think one cannot ask for better partners where we are focused now to make sure systems and processes are built on the one hand, and leadership and management takes place. but equally as i brought to you by 2024 afghanistan has to assume the major burden for paying for its security forces. this is a very constructive dialogue. i welcome in. and i think the environment of trust is very high. what happens, and that's why i ingled out major taylor.
green on blue is an area of attack and when that happens, of course, it is very hard. in 2018 our casualties have been nine. nine too many, but we're totally focused to ensure that the enetration doesn't take place. strengthening is along, we've agreed on a four-year program of which the first year has been implemented. implementing that has resulted in the doubling of our commando force. tripling of our air force. as long as we continue on this course, i think we'll be fine. >> thanks, mr. president. i think as you're keenly aware, i know americans today when they think of afghanistan and even our most recently installed commander, general miller, has spoken about this that the future of afghanistan is not
going to be in a security sense a military solution but is going to have to come from some sort of negotiated settlement with the taliban. can you talk to us a little bit about your assessment of how serious the taliban is about ursuing peace talks with the afghan and u.s. governments, and what you think the prospects of reaching some sort of negotiated settlement today are? >> well, first of all, all wars have to end politically. there are very few wars, particularly the wars of the 21st century that are going to nd militarily. a divided society is not a harmonious society and cannot vision and move forward with ease. because of this, as i stated, we've taken the ownership of the peace process.
the process is bearing results and in the past 17 years, event like the cease-fire of june, had not taken place. i feel that a it's now not a question of if but when. the international level there is total agreement between u.s. government and afghan government to move the peace process forward, and u.s. engagement is to ensure that talks with the taliban result not in negotiations with taliban but with talks, direct talks between the afghan government and taliban. the islamic dimension is equally ery strong with challenges remaining in the region and that's the key promise of the south asian countries to be able
to persuade particularly the ignificant actor where sanctuary and technological support is provided openly to enter an engagement. but the most important area of interaction has to become broad. i'm committed to this to make it happen because it's a demand of the site. -- the society. the price of peace needs to be determined. we are a stakeholder society and once the price becomes clear, we have to renew our consensus so we must have a mechanism of endorsement nationally that brings us sustainable peace. the quest of the afghan people is for enduring peace. for enduring peace we're committed to make the necessity
sacrifices. the process, however must be a very open process. peace cannot happen at midnight behind closed doors. it has to form an advisory council to make sure inclusive so we can consult on key issues apidly and i am hopeful. >> mr. president, at the beginning of our introductory remarks today, we noted that we're hosting this talk on the commemoration of veterans day here in the united states. in the last decade and a half or more, thousands of american and thousands -- many tens of thousands of afghan soldiers have lost their lives in an effort to protect the security of afghanistan. your forces and the afghan national security force have taken particularly high losses which continue to mount in recent months.
how do you think this continued stress on the afghan security forces and the number of casualties they are taking will affect your ability to contain the settlement and bound their abilities and their offensive until some sort of settlement can be reached? >> thank you again. first i'll pay tribute as i did in my opening remarks to american and nato troops. according to our numbers between 2001 and 2014, 2,357 americans troops, 453 u.k. troops, and 676 nato troops paid the ultimate sacrifice. we salute that sacrifice. the total number is 3,486. but that number has been reduced
very significantly as i brought your attention, the total number of u.s., u.k., and nato troops that have lost their lives since 2015 is 71. still too many. but the point is that previously americans and nato forces were fighting for us and dying. we've assumed because of this, i think we can say proudly that we are now partners, not ependents. our casualties from 2001 to 2005 is where the war -- 2014 were 507,000.
our casualties since 2000 is 8,529. it is a major sacrifice but as a tribute to the afghan forces, that the army has not run away from peace. they've withdrawn and e-nargeed -- re-engaged. and our command forces have not lost a battle. the key issue is again to emphasize the need, the urgent need for a political approach where regional support for this level of violence inflicted on the people ceases. that we have opened the political process. the state has emphasized the political process because they are thinking there are obstacles. when i spoke of the cease-fire and declared the cease-fire,
secretary pompeo welcomed it and supported it. move to that defensive position and that's the key. one of the most important thing is to consolidate the bases because they were planned a during days when that one army didn't have much to do. a lot of our losses are in static positions, and some of it are from failures of wearing protective gear. and others, those aspects will be addressed systematically. the world bears must protest against this type of violence inflicted upon a country wherefore nine continuous years is bearing the burden. we need a a respite. we need a break through from this vicious cycle. we're not a battleground for
proxy wars. we're a people who offer a very discontinuingive vision for being the platform for cooperation both globally and reasonablally. -- regionally. >> one last question before we open it up to the audience which includes some media. what message would you give to pakistan in terms of what your expectations are for how they can help support a reconciliation, a negotiated solution to this long running conflict? >> we put our relationship with pakistan in three categories. first, support for violence is not been fitted afghanistan or akistan. the specter needs to be removed. and the way of removing it is support for direct discussions
between that one government and taliban. second, the undeclared war between afghanistan and pakistan must end. we have not supported any movement against pakistan from afghanistan. we have exercised immense restraint and control because we seek a cooperative relationship. second, we need to define what is a normal relationship between afghanistan and pakistan, and we can can offer a lot in the way of cooperation. we're the key to central asia. how will pakistan get to central asia without a stable afghanistan? all the work on energy and others, the connectivity, is a bridge, connector around is to make sure that is connecting people. so connecting central asia and the caw casses, to south asia.
the third is we need to together agree with the united states and the rest of the international community on counterterrorism. these three sets of relationships are key. from the day that president trump announced the strategy, i extended the hand of friendship with engaged. and several rounds. on paper, the document we have arrived at, is a very good document. what is our expectation is to translate those commitments into reality. and help us reduce the level of violence and move forward to lasting and just peace. >> thank you, mr. president. we're going to open it up to questions from the audience here. for those of you in the audience who would like to ask a question, i'll recognize you. i'm not sure if we have mics or not. if need be i'll repeat your question so it can be heard on the microphone. please identify yourself and
your affiliation, and please phrase your comments in the form of a question. with a question mark at the end. in the front. yes. let's bring a microphone up. >> thank you you very much, sir. my name is aaron, student at american university. y question to you, president ghani, is if the taliban believes that they are in a winning position in this war, then how can the government reach a peace deal that is in favor of the nation? thank you. >> the taliban are not in a winning position. let me disclose their casualties. let them answer to the mothers
who have lost their children. let them answer to the wounded. and let them answer to communities that because of their interference have been deprived of education, of health, of services. where is the positive model of the strength? if they have been able to transform a single village in a positive direction, if they hange the condition of 10,000, 1,000 youth to change them, into agents of a constructive afghanistan, the perception of strength is false. abled r is supported and by dependents. toir choice are they willing
accept the community as they were accepted during the cease-fire, or will they reject a social compact? afghanistan's social makeup is a social richness and the cease-fire showed that they are welcome. we will not engage in a peace from position of weakness. and again, the sacrifice of our soldiers, nop commissioned officers, officers -- noncommissioned officers, officers, all rank of our security forces shows the will is there. but my key submission is the bloodletting is unnecessary. on the negotiating table we can can arrive at a just lasting peace that is inclusive and allows us to overcome the past. >> in the white.
>> for the advantage of everyone else, we'll ask the dean to translate that for us. >> translated. the question was whether the united states representative in the peace process is adequately consulting the afghan government on the process. and then the president's answer was that many of the ideas and the plans have actually come from the afghan government and there is ongoing consultation and discussion as the
reconciliation plan goes forward. >> right here. >> hi, becky, used to be with the state department. i'm interested in asking, mr. president, what you -- your views of the new pakistan government are and what your the are for working out differences and issues you have ith this new government. >> yes. thank you. we have not yet seen the sense of urgency, and we hope that sense of urgency can be brought to the picture. e have a framework which is --
afghanistan-pakistan agreement. the key is to move from talking to taking action. as i repeat, our framework, our national interest is to keep engaging with packs stand and we seek a stable pakistan. but we need to see substantive and measurable -- substantive and measurable change. the change of the government has not been seen. but this is what needs to take strategic think the we're grateful to the united states and other partners that they are keenly seeking this engagement and the constructive option that is on the table is e option that we seek and is
of interest in pakistan and the region. > right here in red. >> elaine, associate representative-elector of you uacuwieu in kiev, ukraine. president ghani, thank you very much for addressing us today. regarding afghan's development goals for societal stability, as e former chancellor of cabal -- kabul university and now the leader of the afghan nation, how would you envision the "as you said, demand for a balanced by opment to be leveraged higher education institutions in
afghanistan in context with afghanistan's development goals? thank you. > thank you. the university very proud to be performing, but that's the one i really love, the doctor could provide you more, but i'll just is really hard warming -- heartwarming is the elders, and ciety, particular women are embracing education now. in helmund and other provinces, i was there recently, and in each one there was a remarkable set of statements from elders from youth and others. and they were saying the key area of investment that needs to
take place is education. the president of the university got up and said, because it's 17 yearsn, he says, in have create investment in the , transformed it in a a real center of dynamism. his is across the board. what they made a critical contribution in is now we have create add platform for learning -- created a platform for learning from hundreds of universities including m.i.t., but the most significant change likely is to make the curriculum
and support resources from the institutes of technology and institute of business for two million afghans. we have to fundamentally change from a focus and teacher focus education to a student focused education. the younger generation is ready for this. again, at the universities we plemented the program of retirement that has brought a new leadership. kabul hen i was in university the majority of the teachers had been degrees from the same university. in banman university eight 13, s 63 masters, only masters figures, citing from
memory, had b.a. degrees. we're witnessing a fundamental change and particularly now we have focused on the primary and secondary. the doctor is also leading education and technical dual track. find lan one of the most advanced countries, 21% unemployment a couple years back, switzerland at 2 and a half. the difference is the dual track educational system. where vocational education is being reaped up and brilliant afghan woman, that is directing this independent agency, so it's about human capital. our natural capital, thank god, is immense. though threatened because of environmental change. human capital is really the future and we're very keen. and our cooperation, again,
needs to be in line technical assistance delivered the withhold way is not required. illustration, the plan for r for kabul that had been seeking for over 15 years, we were able to everything was done online. now it's a six volume framework that enables us to transform. so ways of cooperation, dove nation of education, and particularly knowing the revolution that the definition of work and employment is going to fundamentally change needs to be taken. i have colleagues that are in the forefront of this and very proud of them. >> room for one more question before i ask dean nasr to come up and express our gratitude
once again to president ghani. i also note we're going to have the opportunity once the president departs to hear from million can kyumi as well who is here. i ask you to remain in your seats to listen to his remarks. right here. golden tie. grab a microphone so we can hear that in kabul. >> conflict management. first of all president ghani, let me congratulate you on your recent induction into the hopkins society of scholars. the university's highest honor. my question has to do -- remains about the negotiations with the taliban. since eventually the united states troops will be gone or highly diminished and the taliban will be part of the government, what are we
negotiating for? that is what concessions can we expect to get from the taliban? what are we negotiating with? that is what kind of pressure can we put on them? >> thank you. great to see you. i have always benefit interested your views in writing and also the various conferences that we have been together. it was a privilege to be inducted into the society of fellows. i greatly value it. unfortunately i couldn't come in person. our ambassador who is now our national security advisor epresented me. you have peace as a process and not as an event preseist will to understand how to reach agreement. -- precisely to understand how to reach an agreement. the answer is premature.
we need to sit together to define it. so our approach s. we have done this, this is not the first round, there was a round that began in may, but when the news of the passing away leaked, it rought an end to that process. the teams that will start the key task at first will be to provide a table of content and a list of officials. each side is critical issues and then there are common issues. for instance, return of refugees is a common issue. i have reviewed over 100 peace agreements of the 1990's, and they fall into very distinctive categories. one of the most significant will be how do you incorporate the fighters? how do you transform a military movement into a political party,
etc.? hose parts are standard. but there are distinctive questions in those, critical questions from both of our sides, from us. it's going to be what assurance are we going to have that the deal, that it is not going to be replaced by another state sponsored group. commitments must be both between two parties and commitments regionally, taliban will have questions to the united states and to us that the key is that there is no question that is off the table. the process of negotiation will , breadth, and th nuance to the issues.
as i brought before to you, this is where we go back when we're confronted with the question, we need to consult a range of stakeholders and the advisory group and peace council as mechanisms. we need to go with an open mind and in the process understand what unites us, what divides us, how do we overcome the divisions, and ensure that a process, equally it's very important to differentiate between peace and security. latin american and central american agreements of 1990's, that actually brought peace but not security. there was increase in insecurity. that was criminalization. so there is -- it's important to see that the public support translates to peace.
it was a case where peace did not result in security. we have to make sure from the perspective of the new generation of afghans, the new afghans, and particularly from the perspective of the afghan woman ensuring the gains of the last 17 years and the chapter of the constitution on rights and obligation is going to be very, very central issue. as well as if the constitution needs to be amended, it can can only be amended to the actually defined process. we're prepared to tackle all the issues and we hope we can can reach closure. thank you again for your question. >> thank you, mr. president. dean nasr. >> thank you, mr. president, for a he very rich conversation and for joining us today and sharing
with us your vision. i would like you to know that we're all wishing for your success and you can count our good wishes as well as all of the support that we can can give at this very critical juncture for afghanistan. please join me in thanking president ghani. [applause] >> i would like to say thank you to you and to all of participants in today's discussion. and again, to thank the hopkins community for years of friendship and engagement. thank you. >> we're also privileged today to have with us the finance minister of afghanistan who has very graciously agreed to address some of the critical issues that the president raised during his comments today.
and will also entertain some questions from the audience after his remarks. please. [applause] >> a thank you. good morning -- thank you. good morning. thanks again for this opportunity. first of all i also would like to very happy veterans day and also tribute to all of the heroes in afghanistan who fought with afghan soldiers, for the case of freedom and fighting against global terrorism. the president primarily addressed the political issues. i would like to talk about the economic issues and what has really happened as in the past four years. first we talk about peace, peace is not just to stop violence but how you can can really build a
society that can function well, that can can really be the leader of its own future. and economically survive and be able to thrive and move forward. in 2014 president ghani had put a document called basically man festo for change and -- manifesto for change, and decade of transformation, a decade of moving from -- to self-reliance from the support afghanistan has received very generously from the u.s. and many other nato partners. that document here taken elements -- taking elements back to the very basics in terms of how we can really transform an economy that had become so much based on support from the donors. just to give you an idea in 2014
the imports of the country was 21 times bigger than the exports. we talk about a population of over 30 million. when you have an export of less than half a billion, how could you really make an economy work? so basically all what had happened, and a lot has happened despite a large amount of funds from the u.s. and others, was some partners that have come to afghanistan, the economy that had been built was in my view a very pseudo economy. an economy that was not built-- it was a consumptive economy rather than productive economy. so the whole basis was taking everything back to the basics and what major changes need to happen. we went back to the basics and the basics well what can really grow the country? what can we extract from the land? what can we really manufacture? what can we really trade? and also how can we get into new technologies? that was basically the approach we started.
the first element that was see how we can really build infrastructure. so we can really move forward in all of these areas. just to give you an idea, in 2001 only 6% of the population had access to electricity. ven today's about 37%. electricity being as one of those infrastructures, how could you really move a country without these basic elements? we started developing an integrated infrastructure plan that included the movement of the for roads as well as corridors, especially being a landlocked country. landlocked country is also dependent on its neighbors. and then to look at movement of energy give the fact that central asia is so energy rich. and look at south asia, they are energy poor.
to give you one statistic, south asia being 1/4 of the world's population it only has 1/20th of the generation installation of the average capacity of the world. even if you increase the energy capacity five times, close to the world average. we saw quite a bit of that movement as the president talked about. similarly in terms of the data, you look at half of the world internet service is from europe to asia, because of the route it has currency from the -- through 130 eans, it takes about millie seconds to go from europe to asia. lines will cut back on by about 30 to 40 millisecond. and each of those is worth about $100 million. these were. so key elements that we were really looking at. some of the key elements we
2015 was ck 2014, changing the rules and laws of the country. for the first time we have private sector could invest in electrical generation, transmission, and distribution system. similarly, on the data we broke the government's monopoly as the only entity that could bring the fiber optics and installations and owning of it. now any company foreign or domestic that can do. and also the idea was what are the ways we can bring private sector investment to a country? because no country has moved from poverty to prosperity through grant and aid. if you look at it for every $15 to $20 of grant and aid, that has a similar impact as $1 of private sector investment. that's why this -- our whole shift was how we can really move
towards private sector investment. along that line, the next key element was how we can really begin to look at the human capital, the human capacity that's needed to be able to move in these directions. since 2002 the number of universities and number of schools has changed tremendously. back in 2001 during the taliban period we only had about 700 students going to school. but today that number has increased to over seven million, both boys and girls. and a number of universities has removed from two to three to over 29 public universities and about 130 private universities. >> we're going to leave this discussion. you can find it online at c-span.org. the house returning in a moment. their first session since the midterm elections last week. expecting members' floor speeches and later today they'll workn