Security is a priority in the lives of all people. I think about times I’ve had when I was travelling in a part of the world where I did feel secure. I could not imagine feeling that way at home.

Improvements in the availability of services such as health care, education, and water have led to optimism among many Afghan people. The number of girls enrolled in school has increased from 5,000 prior to the fall of the Taliban government to over 2.4 million.

Yet, with all of these improvements in the quality of life in Afghanistan, there is still pessimism expressed by a growing number of Afghans with 35% saying that their country is moving in the wrong direction.

The main reason cited for the higher pessimism is lack of security. At CJ we work with supporting military communication systems, which have a common goal of providing secure communication. Our tactical headsets, available in assorted variations from standard ear cup to in-ear speaker-microphone versions, provide reliable audio for secure communication.

There is a balance among having security forces providing security that makes one feel secure. President Karzai favors reaching an agreement with the US to allow for American military bases to remain in the country past Nato’s 2014 date for ending its military mission.

The Afghan leader said the US would have to agree to end a number of its practices such as carrying out night raids, invading Afghan homes and detaining Afghan citizens. He said he could not support it as the head of a sovereign nation.

The military practices Karzai cited are also among the reasons average Afghans feel fearful around foreign troops. Around 76% of Afghans are fearful of encountering US and other foreign troops in the country. In contrast, 55% said they fear encountering the Afghan National Army.

In any case, concerns over deterioration in the country’s security don’t appear to be limited to average Afghans. Karzai himself seemed to second his people’s pessimism over security conditions when he opted to take a helicopter, rather than risking a car ride on the capital’s streets, to get to the loya Jirga, or grand council.

Written by David Howe