Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

International soldiers honored at Legislature

War on Terrorism among topics at Statehouse

February 1, 2007

— Soldiers from around the world, some from countries on the front lines of war, said Friday they supported U.S. efforts in the war on terror.

"We had very, very bad conditions," under Taliban rule, said Maj. Agha Gul Khalili of Afghanistan, a student at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Khalili said since the 2001 displacement of the Taliban by a U.S.-led invasion "right now, we have good peace."

President Bush has asked Congress for another $10.6 billion in aid to Afghanistan in response to concerns over a Taliban resurgence.

Khalili said violence continues in places in Afghanistan but overall conditions are much better than before.

Twenty-seven students from 26 countries were in the Capitol to meet with state officials. They are here for a year to attend the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Maj. Nawaf AlJalahma of Bahrain, a Muslim, said Islamic terrorists were improperly using their religion to justify their actions.

"They are understanding it in a different way," he said.

He said U.S. efforts in Iraq should focus on rooting out terrorists throughout the country and not just particular areas.

Maj. Jaimie Ogilvie of Jamaica said terrorism must also be fought in the Caribbean "to secure the third border" against drug and human smugglers.

Since 1894, more than 6,915 officers from 148 different countries have attended the Command and General Staff College for training, officials said.

Many of these students later became leaders in their countries. Twenty-six have become heads of state, 2,339 have become general officers in the armies of the world, 317 have become chiefs of staff of their armed forces and 309 have become ministers, ambassadors or representatives.

Other countries represented this year are Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Serbia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkmenistan.

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