Afghan re­assess­ment

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to take some time be­fore de­cid­ing on the re­quest from Gen. Stan­ley A. McChrys­tal for up to 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan is hurt­ing ef­forts to ob­tain non­mil­i­tary re­sources for the coun­terin­sur­gency pro­gram in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cial.

“While the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pon­ders — I won’t say de­lays — the McChrys­tal as­sess­ment, a lot of re­sources that peo­ple in Afghanistan are seek­ing from var­i­ous agen­cies are be­ing sat on,” said the of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he is not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly.

It has been dif­fi­cult to get non­mil­i­tary agen­cies of gov­ern­ment, both U.S. and for­eign, to per­suade peo­ple to go to Afghanistan as part of re­con­struc­tion and sta­bil­ity ef­forts. With the de­lay in an­swer­ing Gen. McChrys­tal’s re­quest for more troops and dis­cus­sion among se­nior of­fi­cials in Wash­ing­ton of rewrit­ing a sec­ond new strat­egy in six months, get­ting agen­cies to com­mit their peo­ple has be­come harder, the of­fi­cial said.

“Peo­ple are not mov­ing to send their peo­ple here if they are not sure what [the] over­all ad­min­is­tra­tion po­si­tion is,” the of­fi­cial said.

Bill Gertz cov­ers na­tional se­cu­rity af­fairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at in­sid­e­ther ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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