Obama proposes $1.6 billion civilian assistance for Afghanistan; Adm. Mulllen: Violence levels will go up in coming months; Afghanistan expresses concern over Islamic Sharia Peace Deal in northwestern Pakistan;
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  • April 13-19, 2009

    US President Barack Obama, in a supplemental budgetary request, urged Congress to release $1.6 billion of economic assistance to Afghanistan, which will go towards meeting his commitment of increased civilian aid to the country. Additionally, the Obama administration has requested $3.6 billion to help man, train, and equip the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSFs), including the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police Force.1

    US military chief Adm. Michael Mullen meanwhile has warned that violence in Afghanistan is set to rise in the coming months as additional US troops arrive in the country to combat the rising insurgency.2

    The Afghan government has expressed concern over the peace deal entered into by the Pakistani authorities with the Taliban to impose Islamic law in northwestern Pakistan. A spokesperson of the office of the Afghan President stated that the deal could threaten Afghanistan’s own security and that it could harm the already tense relations between the two neighbors.3

    The Taliban on its part, reacting to the appointment of Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the new NATO Secretary General, called him a “major enemy of Islam,” in an undated article posted on the Taliban's website. Mr. Rasmussen will take charge as NATO Chief in August 2009.4

    In other developments, Taliban militants attacked a police post in western Afghanistan and killed five policemen.5