- Title: AFGHANISTAN: U.S. COMMANDER BILLY FRANKS MEETS U.S. TROOPS AT BAGRAM BASE.
- Date: 19th October 2002
- Summary: (W5) BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN (OCTOBER 19, 2002) (AGENCY POOL) GV: U.S. TROOPS WAITING IN BAGRAM AIRBASE NORTH OF KABUL FOR COMMANDER OF THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND TOMMY FRANKS TO ARRIVE GV/MV: VARIOUS OF TOMMY FRANKS GREETING AND SHAKING HANDS WITH U.S. SOLDIERS (11 SHOTS) MV: MEDIA LISTENING GV/PAN: FRANKS ARRIVING FOR BRIEFING GV: SOLDIERS FILMING FRANKS MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOMMY FRANKS, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, SAYING: "My belief is that our President has not decided that there is going to be any war in Iraq, and so, it seems to me that we would be premature if we were thinking about which troops might be involved in which place. What we do know for sure is that we have made a commitment to train the Afghan National Army, we have made a commitment to continue to work Enduring Freedom Operations here in Afghanistan for so long as is necessary to be sure that we don't see the reintroduction of large terrorist cells here in Afghanistan, the way we all saw them about a year ago, so we are going to continue that work." MV: MEDIA MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOMMY FRANKS, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, SAYING: "Terrorism remains a concern in this region and in a great many other regions in this planet, so we have a lot of work to do before we are going to satisfy ourselves that the Enduring Freedom part of the global war on terrorism is finished." MCU: MEDIA MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOMMY FRANKS, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, SAYING: "Well I think what we want to do with usable munitions and weapons is bring them in for use by the Afghan National Army. We like what we see in the training of the Afghan National Army, we are hopeful that we are going to see increased numbers in recruiting, I like the training scenario that we see right now with the ANA (Afghan National Army), and I sort of hesitate to predict, but if I was going to predict, I'd say we'll probably see increased and improved multi-ethnic recruiting for the Afghan National Army in the months ahead." GV: END OF NEWS BRIEFING GV: U.S. FLAG FLYING OVER AIR BASE
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2002 12:00
- Location: BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: General,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA76CF1IC6C5P8C3KPMHFM62BXT
- Story Text: The Commander of the U.S. Central Command for
Afghanistan has met U.S soldiers at Bagram airbase and said
U.S. troops will stay till they full eradicate any terrorist
The head of U.S. Central Command said on Saturday
(October 19) he hoped efforts to build a new national army for
Afghanistan would begin to bear fruit in coming months.
General Tommy Franks met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in
Kabul and then spoke to U.S.-led coalition troops at their
headquarters at Bagram air base.
Franks said the U.S. government remained committed to the
hunt for Taliban and al Qaeda militants and to helping to
train Afghanistan's army, which is meant to replace scattered
militias commanded by regional warlords.
"We like what we see in the training of the Afghan
national army," Franks told a news conference at Bagram. "If I
were going to predict, I would say we would probably see
increased and improved multi-ethnic recruiting for the Afghan
army in the months ahead."
In response to a question, Franks said none of the U.S.
troops he had met had expressed concerns about the possibility
of their involvement in any war with Iraq.
"My belief is that our president has not decided that
there is going to be any war in Iraq," he said. "It seems to
me we would be premature if we were thinking about which
troops would be involved in this place."
Franks also addressed more than 250 coalition troops at
Bagram, mainly Americans from the 82nd Airborne Division but
also some Britons, Australians and Poles.
He told them that a year ago Afghanistan was a state
sponsored by terrorism, where millions of people were
threatened with starvation as winter approached.
Franks also said there was a lot more work to be done
before U.S. forces left Afghanistan or the war on terrorism
The U.S. government believes the creation of a national
army in Afghanistan is critical in establishing a lasting
The fledgling army has faced problems attracting recruits
due to low pay. Only about 1,400 have so far been trained with
the help of the United States and countries such as Britain.
The issue has been complicated by U.S. use of regional
forces to pursue remnants of the Taliban and the al Qaeda
network blamed for the September 11 attacks on the United
States last year.
Underscoring the fragile security situation in the
provinces, renewed fighting broke out last week between forces
of renegade warlord Padshah Khan Zadran and governor Hakim
Taniwal in the southeastern province of Khost.
The United States has about 8,000 troops in Afghanistan
pursuing Taliban and al Qaeda remnants. The U.S. troops are
supported by several thousand troops from allied countries.
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