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Improved quality of life, yet Afghans pessimistic on security: A lesson to be learned

By David Howe
CJ Components

This article was contributed by a PoliceOne Sponsor and does not necessarily represent the perspective of P1 or its staff.

Security is a priority in the lives of all people. I think about times I’ve had when traveling where I was in a part of the world where I did feel secure. I could not imagine feeling that way at home.

I live in New York and am in NYC quite a bit. The presence of the NYPD in such a moving, diverse city offers a sense of security. In the case of the NYPD, knowing the immense resource that are in the war on terrorism gives a sense of security for all who live there, as well as for all who visit.

Improvements in the availability of services such as health care, education, and water have led to optimism among many Afghan people. The number of girls enrolled in school has increased from 5,000 prior to the fall of the Taliban government to over 2.4 million. Yet, with all of these improvements in the quality of life in Afghanistan, there is still pessimism expressed by a growing number of Afghans, 35 % saying that their country is moving in the wrong direction.

The main reason cited for the higher pessimism: lack of security.

At CJ we work with supporting tactical communication systems, which have a common goal of providing secure communication. Our tactical headsets, available in assorted variations from standard ear cup to in-ear speaker-microphone versions, all providing reliable audio for secure communication.

There is a balance among having security forces providing security that makes one feel secure. I believe that the NYPD does a good job in maintaining this balance, not overstepping the bounds of freedom for the people they serve.

President Karzai favors reaching an agreement with the US to allow for American military bases to remain in the country past NATO’s 2014 date for ending its military mission. The Afghan leader said the US would have to agree to end a number of its practices – carrying out night raids, invading Afghan homes, detaining Afghan citizens – that he said he could not support as the head of a sovereign nation.

The military practices Karzai cited are also among the reasons average Afghans cite for feeling fearful around foreign troops. 76 percent of Afghans are fearful of encountering US and other foreign troops in the country, in contrast, 55 percent said they fear encountering the Afghan National Army.

In any case, concerns over deterioration in the country’s security don’t appear to be limited to average Afghans. Karzai himself seemed to second his people’s pessimism over security conditions when he opted to take a helicopter – rather than risking a car ride on the capital’s streets – to get to the loya Jirga, or grand council.

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