How can we best meet our national security objectives in Afghanistan?
In Gen. Stanley McChrystal's assessment, Afghanistan requires an "integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign." The general put the request for civilians ahead of military because it is the most difficult to provide.
It is there first because what civilian capacity the U.S. government has at hand is weak, insufficient to the task and not deployable in the way required in Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan understand our need for civilian support, which explains why they attacked and killed six U.N. workers in Kabul in October. As a result, the U.N. pulled out 600 of its 1,100 staff. The U.N. withdrawal is a win for our enemies and will serve to further embolden and encourage them.
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