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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visits Afghanistan,
focuses on Border Security
Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano paid a New Year’s visit to Afghanistan,
where she focused heavily on efforts to shore up security along
the Afghan-Pakistan border to disrupt the flow of terrorists
and the materials to support their operations.
with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Napolitano underscored U.S.
commitment to defeating al Qaida as progress
takes hold. “The Obama administration remains fully committed
to combating threats of terrorism in Afghanistan,” she
Napolitano spent New Year’s Eve with U.S. troops and civilian
personnel, emphasizing that U.S. homeland security begins with
their fight against global terrorism threats around the world.
“It is an honor to meet with our dedicated military and
civilian men and women who are helping to bring peace and stability
to Afghanistan, and I thank them for their continued efforts
and sacrifices here to make the American homeland safer and more
secure,” she said.
Napolitano recognized security progress in Afghanistan and the
role non-military organizations must play to ensure it sticks. “In
many areas progress has been made, but it's fragile, and I think
the issue is stability and to help build capacity in Afghanistan
on the civilian side, as opposed to the military side,” she
During her meetings in Kabul and as she toured security operations
at Afghanistan’s Torkham Border Crossing, Napolitano discussed
Department of Homeland Security efforts to help the Afghan government
boost customs and border control.
“Building and maintaining a strong border crossing system
is critical to the stability and security of Afghanistan,” she
said. “Over the past year, the Department of Homeland Security
has worked closely with the Afghan government to help establish
a border security and customs system to counter terrorism while
facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
In addition to helping the Afghans combat the trans-border crossing
of terrorists, the department’s agents on the ground also
are working to stem the flow of chemicals they use to manufacture
improvised explosive devices, department press officials said.
Homeland Security agents also are helping Afghan border police
and customs officials establish an Afghan customs academy.
"In coordination with U.S. and Afghan military forces,
the dedicated civilian Department of Homeland Security personnel
assisting the Afghan government with customs and border control
have made significant progress in disrupting al-Qaida operations
in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan," Napolitano
Napolitano was slated to travel today to Qatar to meet with
her counterparts there to discuss efforts to secure global aviation
and supply chain systems against threats of terrorism and transnational
crime, officials said.
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