During an interview with CNN’s John King, Sen. John Kerry argued that it would “irresponsible” to commit more troops to Afghanistan at a time when the legitimacy of the Afghanistan government is in doubt. Kerry’s comments came in the context of arguing that Obama shouldn’t be “cornered” into making a hasty decision:
It would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more troops to this country, when we don’t even have an election finished and know who the president is and what kind of government we’re working in with.
When our own commanding general tells us that a critical component of achieving our mission here is, in fact, good governance, and we’re living with a government that we know has to change and provide it, how could the president responsibly say, “Oh, they asked for more, sure — here they are”?
In an interview with CBS, Kerry similarly said that the decision on sending more forces cannot be made until the disputed election is settled. Kerry’s comments follows concerns by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who argued that troop increases “wouldn’t be well received” in Congress, and Rep. David Obey (D-WI), who argued that a counterinsurgency operation in Afghanistan would be “futile.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is currently refusing to accept a power-sharing deal with the runner-up Abdullah Abdullah that would resolve the election dispute. “Under the plan, Karzai would accept the fact that when fraudulent votes are thrown out, he failed to win more than half the vote in the Aug. 20 election. In return, Abdullah, the second-place finisher, would forgo a runoff by withdrawing and endorsing a Karzai-led unity government that included some of his allies, the officials said. Karzai also would have to pursue key political reforms to root out official corruption and improve public services.”