Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clinton: diplomacy key to new Afghan strategy

Full AP story here.

Mar 28th, 2009 WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan relies heavily on civilian efforts, and she is calling for all U.S. diplomats to contribute.

In a cable to U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, Clinton says the success of President Barack Obama's plan depends on the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose ranks in Afghanistan and Pakistan are in line for boosts.

"Whether this strategy succeeds or not depends in large part on all of us," she said in the cable to employees of the two agencies late Friday after Obama announced the results of his administration's review of policy for the region.

The plan does have a significant military component and calls for sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan. But Clinton noted that the most recommendations fall under the purview of the State Department and the aid agency.

"The major shift in this strategy is to emphasize our diplomatic and civilian efforts to achieve our objectives," she wrote in the cable, obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday. . . .

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