December 1st, 2009
04:15 PM ET
7 months ago

Clinton: 'Civilian efforts as vital as military operations'

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.
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.

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.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hillary Clinton • State Department
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. clr

    Of course the civilian efforts are – we are paying the blackwater type troops 3 – 4 X what we pay our own troops to go over and fight – every time the Pres puts a hold on sending our own troops over. Where do you think all these soldiers are going when they bail out of our military during a recession...

    December 1, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Joseph.

    Another pipe dream. Also food for thought those that talk about the "civilians" making all the money and 3 to 4 times what the military are making I have news for you. They are not gettin "rich" like you think and when this is over these people will be looking for a another job. And another thought– most are retired military that could not get a job in the US with their skill so they are working as contractors. Believe me if I could stay here in the US and work I would.....the money, long hours, crappy conditions, and being away from my family for months/years is not worth it but we too must support our families. Lets see how this affects our economy.

    December 1, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Dave

    Yes, just say all kind of things to cover the fact that your administration is increasing war efforts! "Civil ...Shmivil, yada yada yada!" you are increasing troops!! and engaging in intensified war!! keep the talk about civil issues for later when you are more civilized!

    December 1, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. Mike

    Oh how I would love to refer to her as Madame President in 2012.

    Say it ain't so Hillary, you will run!?

    December 1, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. guy from NM

    So, commit to civilian work and do not send more military forces. More political double speak.

    December 1, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. providing the government with the support that it needs to take full responsibility for its own country

    while I agree, think about other countries that have been given the means to run their own country

    I see a government either becoming totalitarian or the war lords taking over

    December 1, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. ran

    Yes and yes. Now let's see how they deal with that issue. So far I like what President Obama is doing by giving the money to the local people instead of to the central Government.

    If people would give President Obama some breathing room they may just be surprised of all the good he can do.

    December 1, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |