Speaking yesterday at a press conference at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussel, UN special envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi reiterated a call to expand the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan beyond the capital city of Kabul. Echoing the sentiments of nearly 80 humanitarian, human rights, women’s rights, and conflict prevention organizations, the US Congress, and the majority of Americans, Brahmini said “I think that there is now an understanding in the international community that this need [to expand ISAF] is there,” according to the Agence France Presse.
In February, command of the 29-nation, 4,800-member ISAF in Afghanistan transferred from Turkey to Germany and the Netherlands. NATO, set to assume command from the Germans and Dutch on August 11, has called expansion of ISAF beyond Kabul “premature,” reported AFP.
Meanwhile, murders of aid workers continue, as do attacks on de-mining operations, Taliban-like restrictions in some provinces, factional fighting, and the bombing of girls’ schools. The Feminist Majority continues leading the call for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.