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US Mourns Loss of Young Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan

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Ms. Anne Smedinghoff was smart and capable, and committed to her country

The United States of America today mourned the death of a young diplomat Anne Smedinghoff who died in a deadly blast in Afghanistan.

Reports say a deadly car bomb blast has killed five Americans in Afghanistan's Zabul province including US diplomat Anne Smedinghoff.

Three US soldiers also were reportedly killed during the attack.

The US diplomat Ms. Smedinghoff, 25 years old, and other Americans were in a convoy of vehicles when the blast occurred.

army
U.S. Army providing security in 2011 while ANP officers conduct routine vehicle inspections at Freedom Circle in the heart of downtown Kabul. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The American officials and their Afghan colleagues were reportedly on their way to donate books to students in a school in the Kazul's capital, when they were hit by an IED attack.

America 'hearbroken' over the death of a young diplomat

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States of America lost a very bright and brave young woman, a young diplomat.

"We lost her to a horrific attack in Afghanistan. And today, our hearts are broken." - Secretary Kerry

He says in the tragedy, there is a stark contrast for all of the world to see between two very different sets of values.

Ms. Anne Smedinghoff is a selfless, idealistic young woman

The young diplomat woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to schoolchildren.

"She brought books, to bring them knowledge, children she had never met, to help them to be able to build a future." - Secretary Kerry

In contrast, Secretary Kerry says Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy.

He says Ms. Anne Smedinghoff is a brave American who was determined to brighten the light of learning through books written in the native tongue of the students that she had never met, but whom she felt compelled to help.

"And she was met by cowardly terrorists determined to bring darkness and death to total strangers." - Secretary Kerry

Who is Anne Smedinghoff?

Anne Smedinghoff was the first American diplomat to die on the job since 2012 attack in Benghazi in Libya.

The 25-year-old suburban Chicago woman joined the U.S. Foreign Service immediately college and volunteered for missions in some dangerous places in the world.

Ms. Anne Smedinghoff was the daughter of an attorney and the second of four children.

Her first assignment for the foreign service was in Caracas in Venezuela and later she volunteered for the Afghanistan assignment.

Secretary Kerry: America does not and will not cower before terrorism

Secretary Kerry say these are the challenges that US citizens face, not just in Afghanistan but in many dangerous parts of the world, where a nihilism, an empty approach, is willing to take life rather than give it.

"What did that terrorist accomplish? What did his cowardice and his nihilism buy him? The grief of parents who now have to bury their children." - Secretary Kerry

The tragic loss of Ms. Anne Smedinghoff also brought the strengthened resolve of a nation, a diplomatic corps, a military, all resources determined to continue the hard work of helping people to help themselves, he added.

"So yesterday, we saw the vilest form of terrorism, but as I hope the world will have learned by now, and if it hasn't, it will over time, America does not and will not cower before terrorism." - Secretary Kerry

He says the US is going to forge on, they are going to step up, they are going to continue to do the work that they do to try to improve the lives of other people.

Americans put ourselves in harm's way because they believe in bringing hope to brothers and sisters all over the world, knowing that they share universal human values with people all over the world of dignity, of opportunity, of progress, Secretary Kerry underlined.

"So it is now up to us to determine what the legacy of this tragedy will be." - Secretary Kerry

He notes that where others seek to destroy, the United States intends to show a stronger determination in order to brighten our shared future, even when others try to darken it with violence.

"That was Anne's mission when she woke up yesterday morning, and it will be ours every single day from this morning through the next as long as God gives us the ability to make that choice." - Secretary Kerry

Anne Smedinghoff was everything that is right about US Foreign Service

According to Secretary Kerry, Ms. Anne Smedinghoff was smart and capable, and committed to her country.

Secretary Kerry had the privilege of meeting her just few days ago before the tragic incident.

Ms. Anne Smedinghoff was part of Secretary Kerry's team when he was in Afghanistan.

He says she was someone who worked hard and put her life on the line so that others could live a better life.

"Our hearts go out to Anne's mother and father, and to the two sisters and the brother who survive her, to her friends and colleagues at home in Chicago, in Caracas where she served her first tour of duty in the Foreign Service, and in Kabul as well as around the world." - Secretary Kerry

Secretary Kerry also expresses his sadness and his condolences to every member of the United States Department of State with whom he is today privileged to work and call colleagues.

Afghanistan Officially Designated as Major Non-NATO Ally of United States

In 2012, the US government announced that Afghanistan is officially designated as its major non-NATO ally.

The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan's future.

In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition that will see Afghan forces gradually taking the lead in securing their own country.

By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.

The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 "surge" troops in December 2009 will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.

The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals.

Reports say the U.S. government is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region.

The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.

Afghanistan Expected to Take Full Responsibility for Its Security By 2014

With the recent announcement that 34,000 US troops will withdraw in Afghanistan, the United States of America today announced US goal is for Afghans to take full responsibility for their security by 2014

For the past decade, tens of billions of dollars in security-related spending have fueled consumption and economic growth in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.

Since last November 2012, seven provinces and municipalities have already begun transition.

US pledges for long-term military commitment
US is negotiating a Strategic Partnership agreement that signals its long-term civil-military commitment.

US knows the cost of neglecting Afghanistan as well. The US will continue to support the sovereign rights of the people of Afghanistan.

US and Afghanistan Partnership
Both nations have worked together to set forth a long-term political, diplomatic, and security partnership, and it entered into force just a few days ago.

The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan's future.

The United States also wants to continue to invest in doing what the Afghans believe they need.

The United States will continue to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan.

The US government has supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process.

In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition that will see Afghan forces gradually taking the lead in securing their own country.

By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.

The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 "surge" troops in December 2009 will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.

The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals as well .

Reports say the U.S. government is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region.

The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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