Washington (CNN) - As President Obama prepared to explain his military strategy for Afghanistan Tuesday, his secretary of state said U.S. civilian efforts are just as critical to successfully getting Afghanistan back on its feet.
At the same time, a diplomatic source says the United States is pushing for an international "special coordinator" to work in parallel with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Speaking Monday in New York to the Business Executives for National Security Gala, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington's "goals in Afghanistan include providing the government with the support that it needs to take full responsibility for its own country.
"That makes civilian efforts as vital as military operations and of longer duration," she said. "We have begun to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense in our national security strategy, and we are certainly engaged in doing so in Afghanistan."
Clinton described the work of the State Department, USAID and other government agencies deployed in Afghanistan. She said experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are embedded with the U.S. military and "rule of law" experts are working to extend a system of justice "so that the Taliban would not offer the only form of justice in Afghanistan."
The State Department says it is tripling the number of civilian staff deployed to Afghanistan, and plans to have 974 staff members there by early 2010.