KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 26, 2010) — The following are the remarks by U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry at the “Rehearsal Of Concept” drill on Oct. 26, 2010, in Kabul:
AMBASSADOR EIKENBERRY: I am honored to be here today with such a large group of senior leaders and friends from Afghanistan and the international community, all of whom are partners in the process of helping the Afghan government build a strong, stable, and independent Afghanistan.
This is the second Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) we are conducting in Kabul. Feedback received from the last ROC in April indicated a need for greater participation by the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community. I am very pleased that we have very senior participation from the Government of Afghanistan and from the International Community in this ROC.
Over the past year, the international military and civilian presence in Afghanistan has increased tremendously, as has the size of the Afghan National Security Forces. As General Petraeus often notes, we have just recently reached a point where we have the inputs right. It is now essential that we capitalize on this investment of inputs and turn them into outputs and outcomes that benefit Afghanistan and the Afghan people.
The Rehearsal of Concept, which we will conduct over the next two days, is a tremendous opportunity to ensure our resources, plans and programs are aligned in a manner that supports the goals of the Afghan Government and those of the Afghan people.
In a nutshell, the purpose of the Rehearsal of Concept is to “Synchronize [Afghan Government], ISAF and the International Community’s actions on issues critical to achieve success in the implementation of the comprehensive approach through December 2011.”
In preparation for this ROC, over the last month teams comprised of Afghan Government, U.S. Embassy, ISAF, and International Community personnel have been working very hard in nine issue areas that have been identified as being critical to the comprehensive approach in Afghanistan through December 2011.
These issue areas, which are listed in your schedules, and which we will discuss in detail, cover the three pillars of security, governance, and development. In addition to specific issue areas such as rule of law, Afghan National Security Forces development, transparency, and counternarcotics strategy, we will also look at reintegration and transition, key to the process of transferring full responsibility for Afghanistan to Afghans by President Karzai’s stated goal of 2014.
Within each issue area, we have identified senior civilian, military, and Afghan government leads responsible for shaping the content and presentation of their issue area. I am very pleased that we will have speakers from the Government of Afghanistan for almost every one of these issue areas and, in some cases, more than one speaker. Thank you for taking a personal interest in ensuring your ministries are represented by your most talented and dedicated personnel and the significant time they devoted during the preparation process.
Each presentation will be followed by robust discussions to help us achieve our two main objectives:
To develop a cohesive military, civilian, and GIRoA narrative identifying progress following the London and Kabul Conferences, while also providing a vision towards future strategic events such as the Lisbon Conference.
To recommend measures necessary to achieve sustained and demonstrable improvements in Afghanistan through December 2011.
These next two days, simply put, are about all of us working together for the successful future of Afghanistan. I ask you for your full engagement and support and look forward to frank discussions.