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Afghanistan Ambassador Warns of Worsening Violence

Margaret Warner speaks with Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Said Jawad, about escalating Taliban violence and what is at stake for the U.S.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And to Margaret Warner.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    And we are joined now by Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Said Jawad.

    Mr. Ambassador, thank you for coming.

  • AMBASSADOR SAID JAWAD:

    Thank you for having me.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    First of all, my condolences on this latest bombing.

    Following up on what the ministry, your ministry, said today, that it was planned by a state, not a group, are you pointing the finger at Pakistan?

  • AMBASSADOR SAID JAWAD:

    Yes, we do. We are pointing the finger at the Pakistan intelligence agency, based on the evidence on the ground and similar attack taking place in Afghanistan.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    And, more broadly, this — clearly, the rate of attacks has stepped up, say, since the beginning of the year. Is your government losing control of this city?

  • AMBASSADOR SAID JAWAD:

    Not really.

    Definitely, the rate of the attacks have increased, but, still, the level of the violence in Afghanistan today is 400 percent less than the one in Iraq. So, the — the Taliban and the enemy are focusing more on suicide bombing and roadside bombing, but, overall, when they confront our security forces and your soldiers, they lose a big number.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Do you disagree with the assessment that General McChrystal did, for instance, about the whole security situation, that it was serious and that it was deteriorating?

  • AMBASSADOR SAID JAWAD:

    Overall, in the country, yes, it is. In the south, we are facing serious security challenges. That's why we welcome General McChrystal's assessments, and think that additional troops are needed in order to provide space and time for the Afghan security forces to be trained and equipped.

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