- Afghan governance must be improved
- There needs to be more emphasis on civilian development
- There needs to be a supply of dependable Afghan security forces
While in Afghanistan, Kerry was given credit, according to several pieces I read, for convincing Karzai to agree to the runoff with Abdullah Abdullah.
Kerry opposed the surge in Iraq pretty vehemently, if I recall correctly, so he is being consistent in his position on Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see if the White House responds in any way tomorrow or whether they continue to hold their cards close to the vest.
Kerry also called the US civilian presence in Afghanistan "disgraceful," and an article in the Post makes it sound like he is right - we have fewer than 1,000 civilians working there and fewer than 200 of those are outside of Kabul.
Yesterday 14 Americans (including soldiers and civilian drug enforcement officials) were killed in two helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. It's not clear yet whether either crash was caused by enemy fire.