THE WORLDPOST
07/03/2012 01:24 pm ET

Afghanistan Transition Doubts Voiced By Legislators During Visit To California

Afghan legislators expressed doubts about their country's ability to self-govern on Monday, highlighting concerns over whether Afghanistan will emerge from the war in a stable position.

During a visit to the California legislature in Sacramento, several lawmakers told the Sacramento Bee that Afghanistan is unprepared to take full responsibility for its own security and governance.

Baktash Siawash, a journalist and member of the Wolesi Jirga, Afghanistan's lower house of Parliament, warned of the consequences of a poorly-conceived exit plan. "If the U.S. just wants to escape from Afghanistan without a responsible exit strategy, that will send a clear message to the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Haqqani network that it's safe."

Siawish was one of five members of Parliament to visit Sacramento. The group is in the United States as part of a two-week tour, sponsored by the State Department, to study American legislatures.

The lawmakers' visit came on the same day that an Afghan policeman killed three British soldiers in Helmand province, highlighting further doubts about the military side of the transition.

The incident was the latest in a spate of "green-on-blue" shootings in which members of the Afghan security forces have turned their guns on their Western counterparts. The Los Angeles Times noted on Tuesday that the most recent shooting was carried out by a member of the Afghan National Civil Order Police, a force that is both more selective and more extensively trained than standard police.

Read more from The Sacramento Bee.

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