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You are announcing the transfer of responsibly to Afghan security forces, 75% of the population, and all provincial capitals will betransferred to the care of the Afghan Security Forces.
Yes, it has been announced.
That is much faster progress than originally anticipated.
That's good for us.
So at this rate when do you think Afghan forces will take the lead countrywide?
Beginning or end?
Around the middle, towards the end.
Does that mean the foreign forces can withdraw early?
They can withdraw early, yes. As far as we are concerned, yes.
Do you want them to? Before the original deadline?
Yes. If they can, yes.
It's good for us. Good for us and good for them. Good for us and good for them. Good for us because it's our country and we must defend it. Good for them because I don't want anymore international forces' lives lost in Afghanistan. I don't want their money spent in Afghanistan when the things they are doing we can do. So when we can do something, why should we have ayoung boy or girl from Germany or Netherlands, or the United States or France go through the trauma or endanger her or his life. Therefore it's good for our international partners, its good for us. With the right partnership, with the right support to Afghanistan, it's good for all of us. Good for them and good for us.
So will you ask them to leave early?
We will not ask them to leave early. If everything is done in time, and they want to leave early, we will welcome it. I mean if everything is done before time.
As I am sure you are aware, yet another man in Afghan army uniform killed an American soldier and trainer this week. There was another attack yesterday. There have been some 22 so-called green-on-blue incidents this year, and 35 last year. Do you think American and NATO soldiers should continue training Afghan troops with this kind of threat?
The training I think when the whole context of operations changes the threat will recede.
Well, now look, I don't think it's advisable that I talk about this, because there are reasons for this. And I have discussed this with NATO officials, and it's probably not advisable for me to say any more about it. I hope you understand that.
Ok, but you only get one pass.
The Afghan security forces, particularly the police and the auxiliary have been accused of flouting the law, misusing their positions, and in some cases pretty gruesome human rights abuses. Does thisstrengthen the Taliban's assertion that these government forces are working against the people of Afghanistan?
Well the Taliban cannot claim a thing like that. The Taliban have been unfortunately hurting so many innocent Afghans, burning schools, destroying homes, and committingunbelievable atrocities against the Afghan people in the name of fighting Americans. So they cannot come to us to claim the higher ground. But, with or without the Taliban, with or without the Taliban the Afghans suffered massively. So Afghanistan, has suffered as I have said before, at the hands of foreign forces and from their own government for 30 years now, beginning with the soviets till today. And an Afghanistan where the government has militias to intimidate people will never be a peaceful Afghanistan. Therefore this is an extremely important question for me personally. I took a gun against the Soviet Union and their puppets because I had to, because oftheir atrocities. I stood against the United States because of what I believe were atrocities. And I will stand against any authority in Afghanistan, and within the Afghan government as well. On this. It's my job. And I don't know if they have told you, I almost have a daily reminder to them. Almost a daily reminder to them, to Afghan intelligence, to Afghan army to Afghan police, that our job is to protect the Afghan people and not to hurt them. So I am strongly strongly strongly as a human being committed to this. And there are incidents of this kind, no doubt, and that is one of our struggles. Afghan homes are still not secure. Any home can be violated.