Kerry on Afghanistan
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently back from brokering Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s acquiescence to a runoff election, is giving a stemwinder address to the Council on Foreign Relations right now about future strategy in Afghanistan. It’s a forceful defense of the war, and he urges conditionalizing military strategy on the U.S. and Afghan capacity to provide good governance and development assistance. I’ll have much more as soon as the speech ends, but check this out — Kerry endorsed a “focused” counterinsurgency effort but had this critique of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy review:
“I am convinced from my conversations with General Stanley McChrystal that he understands the necessity of conducting a smart counterinsurgency in a limited geographic area. But I believe his current plan reaches too far, too fast. We do not yet have the critical guarantees of governance and development capacity. I also have serious concerns about the ability to produce effective Afghan forces to partner with, so we can ensure that when our troops make heroic sacrifices, the benefits to the Afghans are clear and sustainable.”
Much more to follow.