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Cablegate: The President's Announcement On the Way

VZCZCXRO2037
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHC #3222/01 3440518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020130Z DEC 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 1203-1223
RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY IMMEDIATE 2559-2579

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 21 STATE 123222

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AF PK
SUBJECT: THE PRESIDENT'S ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE WAY
FORWARD IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN: TEXT OF SPEECH,
FACT SHEET, AND QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

REFS: (A) STATE 122731 (B) STATE 122234


1. (SBU) Summary: The President will announce his
decision on the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan
in an address to the nation from the United States
Military Academy at West Point on December 1 at 8:00
p.m. eastern standard time. This cable contains
information which we hope will be useful to you in
engaging host governments, media, and the public after
the President's address. The contents of the cable are
strictly embargoed until December 1 at 8:00 p.m. eastern
standard time. Please see paragraph two for the text of
the President's speech; paragraphs three through seven
for the fact sheet describing the way forward in
Afghanistan and Pakistan; and paragraph eight for
questions and answers on the review and the President's
decision. The questions and answers are for internal
use only and should not be released to the public. The
fact sheet and transcript of the President's remarks
will be posted on the White House public website at
www.whitehouse.gov, along with translated versions in
several languages. End Summary.

------------------------------
TEXT OF THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH
------------------------------

2. (SBU) Remarks of President Barack Obama: The Way
Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, West Point, New
York

BEGIN TEXT OF SPEECH. Good evening. To the United
States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our
armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to
speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan
the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our
interests, and the strategy that my Administration will
pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It
is an honor for me to do so here at West Point where
so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our
security, and to represent what is finest about our
country.

To address these issues, it is important to recall why
America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in
Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this
fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked
four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000
people. They struck at our military and economic nerve
centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and
children without regard to their faith or race or
station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the
passengers on board one of those flights, they could
have also struck at one of the great symbols of our
democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al-Qa'ida a group of
extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of
the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of
innocents. Al-Qa'ida's base of operations was in
Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban a
ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized
control of that country after it was ravaged by years of
Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention
of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of
force against al-Qa'ida and those who harbored them an
authorization that continues to this day. The vote in
the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420
to 1. For the first time in its history, the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 the
commitment that says an attack on one member nation is
an attack on all. And the United Nations Security
Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to
respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the
world were acting as one to destroy al-Qa'ida's
terrorist network, and to protect our common security.

Under the banner of this domestic unity and
international legitimacy and only after the Taliban
refused to turn over Osama bin Laden we sent our
troops into Afghanistan. Within a matter of months, al-
Qa'ida was scattered and many of its operatives were
killed. The Taliban was driven from power and pushed
back on its heels. A place that had known decades of
fear now had reason to hope. At a conference convened
by the UN, a provisional government was established
under President Hamid Karzai. And an International
Security Assistance Force was established to help bring
a lasting peace to a war-torn country.

Then, in early 2003, the decision was made to wage a
second war in Iraq. The wrenching debate over the Iraq
War is well-known and need not be repeated here. It is
enough to say that for the next six years, the Iraq War
drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources,
our diplomacy, and our national attention and that the
decision to go into Iraq caused substantial rifts
between America and much of the world.

Today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing the
Iraq war to a responsible end. We will remove our
combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next summer, and
all of our troops by the end of 2011. That we are doing
so is a testament to the character of our men and women
in uniform. Thanks to their courage, grit and
perseverance, we have given Iraqis a chance to shape
their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to
its people.

But while we have achieved hard-earned milestones in
Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated.
After escaping across the border into Pakistan in 2001
and 2002, al-Qa'ida's leadership established a safe-
haven there. Although a legitimate government was
elected by the Afghan people, it has been hampered by
corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy,
and insufficient Security Forces. Over the last several
years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al-
Qa'ida, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan
government. Gradually, the Taliban has begun to take
control over swaths of Afghanistan, while engaging in
increasingly brazen and devastating acts of terrorism
against the Pakistani people.

Throughout this period, our troop levels in Afghanistan
remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. When I
took office, we had just over 32,000 Americans serving
in Afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in Iraq at the peak
of the war. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked
for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban,
but these reinforcements did not arrive. That's why,
shortly after taking office, I approved a long-standing
request for more troops. After consultations with our
allies, I then announced a strategy recognizing the
fundamental connection between our war effort in
Afghanistan, and the extremist safe-havens in Pakistan.
I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting,
dismantling, and defeating al-Qa'ida and its extremist
allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military
and civilian effort.

Since then, we have made progress on some important
objectives. High-ranking al-Qa'ida and Taliban leaders
have been killed, and we have stepped up the pressure on
al-Qa'ida world-wide. In Pakistan, that nation's Army
has gone on its largest offensive in years. In
Afghanistan, we and our allies prevented the Taliban
from stopping a presidential election, and although it
was marred by fraud that election produced a
government that is consistent with Afghanistan's laws
and Constitution.

Yet huge challenges remain. Afghanistan is not lost, but
for several years it has moved backwards. There is no
imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but
the Taliban has gained momentum. Al-Qa'ida has not
reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before
9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the
border. And our forces lack the full support they need
to effectively train and partner with Afghan Security
Forces and better secure the population. Our new
Commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal has
reported that the security situation is more serious
than he anticipated. In short: the status quo is not
sustainable.

As cadets, you volunteered for service during this time
of danger. Some of you have fought in Afghanistan. Many
will deploy there. As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe
you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of
your service. That is why, after the Afghan voting was
completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our
strategy. Let me be clear: there has never been an
option before me that called for troop deployments
before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of
resources necessary for the conduct of the war.
Instead, the review has allowed me ask the hard
questions, and to explore all of the different options
along with my national security team, our military and
civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and with our key
partners. Given the stakes involved, I owed the
American people and our troops no less.

This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief,
I have determined that it is in our vital national
interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to
Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to
come home. These are the resources that we need to
seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity
that can allow for a responsible transition of our
forces out of Afghanistan.

I do not make this decision lightly. I opposed the war
in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must
exercise restraint in the use of military force, and
always consider the long-term consequences of our
actions. We have been at war for eight years, at
enormous cost in lives and resources. Years of debate
over Iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national
security issues in tatters, and created a highly
polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort. And
having just experienced the worst economic crisis since
the Great Depression, the American people are
understandably focused on rebuilding our economy and
putting people to work here at home.

Most of all, I know that this decision asks even more of
you - a military that, along with your families, has
already borne the heaviest of all burdens. As
President, I have signed a letter of condolence to the
family of each American who gives their life in these
wars. I have read the letters from the parents and
spouses of those who deployed. I have visited our
courageous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. I have
travelled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18
Americans returning home to their final resting place.
I see firsthand the terrible wages of war. If I did not
think that the security of the United States and the
safety of the American people were at stake in
Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of
our troops home tomorrow.

So no I do not make this decision lightly. I make
this decision because I am convinced that our security
is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the
epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al-
Qa'ida. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11,
and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted
as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical
threat. In the last few months alone, we have
apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent
here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan
to commit new acts of terror. This danger will only grow
if the region slides backwards, and al-Qa'ida can
operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al-
Qa'ida, and to do that, we must increase the stability
and capacity of our partners in the region.

Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This
is not just America's war. Since 9/11, al-Qa'ida's
safe-havens have been the source of attacks against
London and Amman and Bali. The people and governments
of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are endangered. And the
stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan,
because we know that al-Qa'ida and other extremists seek
nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe
that they would use them.

These facts compel us to act along with our friends and
allies. Our overarching goal remains the same: to
disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan
and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten
America and our allies in the future.

To meet that goal, we will pursue the following
objectives within Afghanistan. We must deny al-Qa'ida a
safe-haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and
deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we
must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's Security
Forces and government, so that they can take lead
responsibility for Afghanistan's future.

We will meet these objectives in three ways. First, we
will pursue a military strategy that will break the
Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity.
The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing
tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 the
fastest pace possible so that they can target the
insurgency and secure key population centers. They will
increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security
Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans
can get into the fight. And they will help create the
conditions for the United States to transfer
responsibility to the Afghans.

Because this is an international effort, I have asked
that our commitment be joined by contributions from our
allies. Some have already provided additional troops,
and we are confident that there will be further
contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends
have fought and bled and died alongside us in
Afghanistan. Now, we must come together to end this war
successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test
of NATO's credibility what's at stake is the security
of our Allies, and the common security of the world.

Taken together, these additional American and
international troops will allow us to accelerate handing
over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to
begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in
July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will
execute this transition responsibly, taking into account
conditions on the ground. We will continue to advise
and assist Afghanistan's Security Forces to ensure that
they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be
clear to the Afghan government and, more importantly,
to the Afghan people that they will ultimately be
responsible for their own country.

Second, we will work with our partners, the UN, and the
Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian
strategy, so that the government can take advantage of
improved security.

This effort must be based on performance. The days of
providing a blank check are over. President Karzai's
inauguration speech sent the right message about moving
in a new direction. And going forward, we will be clear
about what we expect from those who receive our
assistance. We will support Afghan Ministries,
Governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and
deliver for the people. We expect those who are
ineffective or corrupt to be held accountable. And we
will also focus our assistance in areas such as
agriculture that can make an immediate impact in the
lives of the Afghan people.

The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for
decades. They have been confronted with occupation by
the Soviet Union, and then by foreign al-Qa'ida fighters
who used Afghan land for their own purposes. So
tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand
America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering.
We have no interest in occupying your country. We will
support efforts by the Afghan government to open the
door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect
the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will
seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual
respect to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen
those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will
leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which
America is your partner, and never your patron.

Third, we will act with the full recognition that our
success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our
partnership with Pakistan.

We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once
again spreading through that country. But this same
cancer has also taken root in the border region of
Pakistan. That is why we need a strategy that works on
both sides of the border.

In the past, there have been those in Pakistan who have
argued that the struggle against extremism is not their
fight, and that Pakistan is better off doing little or
seeking accommodation with those who use violence. But
in recent years, as innocents have been killed from
Karachi to Islamabad, it has become clear that it is the
Pakistani people who are the most endangered by
extremism. Public opinion has turned. The Pakistani
Army has waged an offensive in Swat and South
Waziristan. And there is no doubt that the United
States and Pakistan share a common enemy.

In the past, we too often defined our relationship with
Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over. Moving forward,
we are committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is
built on a foundation of mutual interests, mutual
respect, and mutual trust. We will strengthen
Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that threaten
our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot
tolerate a safe-haven for terrorists whose location is
known, and whose intentions are clear. America is also
providing substantial resources to support Pakistan's
democracy and development. We are the largest
international supporter for those Pakistanis displaced
by the fighting. And going forward, the Pakistani people
must know: America will remain a strong supporter of
Pakistan's security and prosperity long after the guns
have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its
people can be unleashed.

These are the three core elements of our strategy: a
military effort to create the conditions for a
transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive
action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan.

I recognize that there are a range of concerns about our
approach. So let me briefly address a few of the
prominent arguments that I have heard, and which I take
very seriously.

First, there are those who suggest that Afghanistan is
another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be
stabilized, and we are better off cutting our losses and
rapidly withdrawing. Yet this argument depends upon a
false reading of history. Unlike Vietnam, we are joined
by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the
legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not
facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most
importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were
viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target
for those same extremists who are plotting along its
border. To abandon this area now and to rely only on
efforts against al-Qa'ida from a distance would
significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on
al-Qa'ida, and create an unacceptable risk of additional
attacks on our homeland and our allies.

Second, there are those who acknowledge that we cannot
leave Afghanistan in its current state, but suggest that
we go forward with the troops that we have. But this
would simply maintain a status quo in which we muddle
through, and permit a slow deterioration of conditions
there. It would ultimately prove more costly and
prolong our stay in Afghanistan, because we would never
be able to generate the conditions needed to train
Afghan Security Forces and give them the space to take
over.

Finally, there are those who oppose identifying a
timeframe for our transition to Afghan responsibility.
Indeed, some call for a more dramatic and open-ended
escalation of our war effort one that would commit us
to a nation building project of up to a decade. I
reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond
what we can achieve at a reasonable cost, and what we
need to achieve to secure our interests. Furthermore,
the absence of a timeframe for transition would deny us
any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan
government. It must be clear that Afghans will have to
take responsibility for their security, and that America
has no interest in fighting an endless war in
Afghanistan.

As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our
responsibility, our means, our or interests. And I must
weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. I do
not have the luxury of committing to just one. Indeed,
I am mindful of the words of President Eisenhower, who
in discussing our national security said, "Each
proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader
consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among
national programs."

Over the past several years, we have lost that balance,
and failed to appreciate the connection between our
national security and our economy. In the wake of an
economic crisis, too many of our friends and neighbors
are out of work and struggle to pay the bills, and too
many Americans are worried about the future facing our
children. Meanwhile, competition within the global
economy has grown more fierce. So we simply cannot
afford to ignore the price of these wars.

All told, by the time I took office the cost of the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan approached a trillion dollars.
Going forward, I am committed to addressing these costs
openly and honestly. Our new approach in Afghanistan is
likely to cost us roughly 30 billion dollars for the
military this year, and I will work closely with
Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down
our deficit.

But as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan
responsibility, we must rebuild our strength here at
home. Our prosperity provides a foundation for our
power. It pays for our military. It underwrites our
diplomacy. It taps the potential of our people, and
allows investment in new industry. And it will allow us
to compete in this century as successfully as we did in
the last. That is why our troop commitment in
Afghanistan cannot be open-ended because the nation
that I am most interested in building is our own.

Let me be clear: none of this will be easy. The
struggle against violent extremism will not be finished
quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and
Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free
society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike
the great power conflicts and clear lines of division
that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve
disorderly regions and diffuse enemies.

So as a result, America will have to show our strength
in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict. We
will have to be nimble and precise in our use of
military power. Where al-Qa'ida and its allies attempt
to establish a foothold whether in Somalia or Yemen or
elsewhere they must be confronted by growing pressure
and strong partnerships.

And we cannot count on military might alone. We have to
invest in our homeland security, because we cannot
capture or kill every violent extremist abroad. We have
to improve and better coordinate our intelligence, so
that we stay one step ahead of shadowy networks.

We will have to take away the tools of mass destruction.
That is why I have made it a central pillar of my
foreign policy to secure loose nuclear materials from
terrorists; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and
to pursue the goal of a world without them. Because
every nation must understand that true security will
never come from an endless race for ever-more
destructive weapons true security will come for those
who reject them.

We will have to use diplomacy, because no one nation can
meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting
alone. I have spent this year renewing our alliances
and forging new partnerships. And we have forged a new
beginning between America and the Muslim World one
that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle
of conflict, and that promises a future in which those
who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up
for peace and prosperity and human dignity.

Finally, we must draw on the strength of our values
for the challenges that we face may have changed, but
the things that we believe in must not. That is why we
must promote our values by living them at home which
is why I have prohibited torture and will close the
prison at Guantanamo Bay. And we must make it clear to
every man, woman and child around the world who lives
under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak
out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the
light of freedom, and justice, and opportunity, and
respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we
are. That is the moral source of America's authority.

Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service
and sacrifice of our grandparents, our country has borne
a special burden in global affairs. We have spilled
American blood in many countries on multiple continents.
We have spent our revenue to help others rebuild from
rubble and develop their own economies. We have joined
with others to develop an architecture of institutions
from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank that
provide for the common security and prosperity of human
beings.

We have not always been thanked for these efforts, and
we have at times made mistakes. But more than any other
nation, the United States of America has underwritten
global security for over six decades a time that, for
all its problems, has seen walls come down, markets
open, billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled
scientific progress, and advancing frontiers of human
liberty.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought
world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to
oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We
will not claim another nation's resources or target
other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is
different from ours. What we have fought for and what
we continue to fight for is a better future for our
children and grandchildren, and we believe that their
lives will be better if other peoples' children and
grandchildren can live in freedom and access
opportunity.

As a country, we are not as young and perhaps not as
innocent as we were when Roosevelt was President. Yet
we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom. Now
we must summon all of our might and moral suasion to
meet the challenges of a new age.

In the end, our security and leadership does not come
solely from the strength of our arms. It derives from
our people from the workers and businesses who will
rebuild our economy; from the entrepreneurs and
researchers who will pioneer new industries; from the
teachers that will educate our children, and the service
of those who work in our communities at home; from the
diplomats and Peace Corps volunteers who spread hope
abroad; and from the men and women in uniform who are
part of an unbroken line of sacrifice that has made
government of the people, by the people, and for the
people a reality on this Earth.

This vast and diverse citizenry will not always agree on
every issue nor should we. But I also know that we,
as a country, cannot sustain our leadership nor navigate
the momentous challenges of our time if we allow
ourselves to be split asunder by the same rancor and
cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times
poisoned our national discourse.

It is easy to forget that when this war began, we were
united bound together by the fresh memory of a
horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our
homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to
accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity
again. I believe with every fiber of my being that we
as Americans can still come together behind a common
purpose. For our values are not simply words written
into parchment they are a creed that calls us
together, and that has carried us through the darkest of
storms as one nation, one people.

America we are passing through a time of great trial.
And the message that we send in the midst of these
storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our
resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the
confidence that right makes might, and with the
commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world
that is more secure, and a future that represents not
the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. Thank
you, God Bless you, God Bless our troops, and may God
Bless the United States of America. END TEXT OF SPEECH.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
FACT SHEET: The Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. (SBU) Our Mission: The President's speech reaffirms
the March 2009 core goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and
eventually defeat al-Qa'ida and to prevent their return
to either Afghanistan or Pakistan. To do so, we and our
allies will surge our forces, targeting elements of the
insurgency and securing key population centers, training
Afghan forces, transferring responsibility to a capable
Afghan partner, and increasing our partnership with
Pakistanis who are facing the same threats.

This region is the heart of the global violent extremism
pursued by al-Qa'ida, and the region from which we were
attacked on 9/11. New attacks are being planned there
now, a fact borne out by a recent plot, uncovered and
disrupted by American authorities. We will prevent the
Taliban from turning Afghanistan back into a safe haven
from which international terrorists can strike at us or
our allies. This would pose a direct threat to the
American homeland, and that is a threat that we cannot
tolerate. Al-Qa'ida remains in Pakistan where they
continue to plot attacks against us and where they and
their extremist allies pose a threat to the Pakistani
state. Our goal in Pakistan will be to ensure that al-
Qa'ida is defeated and Pakistan remains stable.

4. (SBU) Review Process: The review was a deliberate
and disciplined three-stage process to check alignment
of goals, methods for attaining those goals, and finally
resources required. Over ten weeks, the President
chaired nine meetings with his national security team,
and consulted key allies and partners, including the
governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The President
focused on asking the hard questions, took the time to
carefully consider all of the options, and united a
variety of competing views in his cabinet before
agreeing to send any additional Americans to war.

As a result of the review, we have focused our mission
and developed a common understanding regarding our
regional approach and the need for international
support. We will deploy forces into Afghanistan rapidly
and will take advantage of these additional resources to
create the conditions to begin to draw down combat
forces in the summer of 2011, while maintaining a
partnership with Afghanistan and Pakistan to protect our
enduring interests in that region.

The meetings were focused on how best to ensure the al-
Qa'ida threat is eliminated from the region and that
regional stability is restored. We looked closely at
the alignment of our efforts and the balance between
civilian and military resources, both in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, and the efforts of the U.S. and the
international community.

A number of issues were explored in depth: national
interests, core objectives and goals, counterterrorism
priorities, safe havens for terrorist groups in
Pakistan, the health of the global U.S. military force,
risks and costs associated with troop deployments,
global deployment requirements, international
cooperation and commitments for both Afghanistan and
Pakistan, and Afghan capacity in all areas to include
Afghan security forces, central and sub-national
governance and corruption (including the narcotics
trade), and development and economic issues.

5. (SBU) What Has Changed Since March: Since the
President announced our renewed commitment in March, a
number of key developments led the Administration to
review its approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan: new
attention was focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, new
U.S. leadership was established in Afghanistan, Pakistan
increased its efforts to combat extremists, and the
situation in Afghanistan has become more grave.

The United States assigned new civilian and military
leadership in Afghanistan, with the appointments of
Ambassador Karl Eikenberry as U.S. Ambassador to
Afghanistan, and General Stanley McChrystal as the new
Commander of ISAF military forces in Afghanistan. Upon
arrival in Afghanistan, both Ambassador Eikenberry and
General McChrystal recognized that after eight years of
underresourcing, the situation was worse than expected.
Together, Ambassador Eikenberry and General McChyrstal
published a new Civilian-Military Campaign Plan to
integrate U.S. efforts across the country.

Afghanistan's difficult, extended election process and
evident signs of the absence of rule of law made clear
the limits of the central government in Kabul.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Pakistanis showed new
resolve in defeating militants who had taken control of
the Swat Valley, just 60 miles from Islamabad.
Pakistani political leadersincluding opposition party
leaderscame together to support the Pakistani military
operations. This fall, the Pakistanis expanded their
fight against extremists into the Mehsud tribal areas of
South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan.

6. (SBU) The Way Forward: The President has decided to
deploy an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
These troops will deploy on an accelerated timeline to
reinforce the 68,000 Americans and 39,000 non-U.S. ISAF
troops already there, so that we can target the
insurgency, break its momentum, and better secure
population centers. These forces will increase our
capacity to train effective Afghan Security Forces, and
to partner with them so that more Afghans get into the
fight. And by pursuing these partnerships, we can
transition to Afghan responsibility, and begin to reduce
our combat troops in the summer of 2011. In short,
these resources will allow us to make the final push
that is necessary to train Afghans so that we can
transfer responsibility.

We will maintain this increased force level for the next
18 months. During this time, we will regularly measure
our progress. And beginning in July 2011, we will
transfer lead security responsibility to Afghans and
start to transition our combat forces out of
Afghanistan. As Afghans take on responsibility for
their security, we will continue to advise and assist
Afghanistan's Security Forces, and maintain a
partnership on behalf of their security so that they can
sustain this effort. Afghans are tired of war and long
for peace, justice, and economic security. We intend to
help them achieve these goals and end this war and the
threat of reoccupation by the foreign fighters
associated with al-Qa'ida.

We will not be in this effort alone. We will continue
to be joined in the fight by the Afghans, and the
aggressive partnering effort envisioned by General
McChrystal will get more Afghans into the fight for
their country's future. There will also be additional
resources from NATO. These allies have already made
significant commitments of their own in Afghanistan, and
we will be discussing additional alliance contributions
in troops, trainers, and resources in the days and
weeks ahead. This is not simply a test of the
alliance's credibility what is at stake is even more
fundamental. It is the security of London and Madrid;
of Paris and Berlin; of Prague, New York, and our
broader collective security.

We will work with our partners, the United Nations, and
the Afghan people to strengthen our civilian effort, so
that Afghanistan's government can step in as we
establish better security. President Karzai's
inauguration speech sent the right message about moving
in a new direction, including his commitment to
reintegration and reconciliation, improving relations
with Afghanistan's regional partners, and steadily
increasing the security responsibilities of Afghan
security forces. But we must see action and progress.
We will be clear about our expectations, and we will
encourage and reinforce Afghan Ministries, Governors,
and local leaders who deliver for the people and combat
corruption. We will not reinforce those who are not
accountable and not acting in the service of the Afghan
people and the state. And we will also focus our
assistance in areas such as agriculture that can
make an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan
people.

7. (SBU) Civilian Assistance: A continuing significant
increase in civilian experts will accompany a sizable
infusion of additional civilian assistance. They will
partner with Afghans over the long term to enhance the
capacity of national and sub-national government
institutions and to help rehabilitate Afghanistan's key
economic sectors so that Afghans can defeat the
insurgents who promise only more violence.

Growth is critical to undermine extremists' appeal in
the short term and for sustainable economic development
in the long term. Our top reconstruction priority is
implementing a civilian-military agriculture
redevelopment strategy to restore Afghanistan's once
vibrant agriculture sector. This will help sap the
insurgency of fighters and of income from poppy
cultivation.

An emphasis of our governance efforts will be on
developing more responsive, visible, and accountable
institutions at the provincial, district, and local
level, where everyday Afghans encounter their
government. We will also encourage and support the
Afghan Government's reinvigorated plans to fight
corruption, with concrete measures of progress toward
greater accountability.

A key element of our political strategy will be
supporting Afghan-led efforts to reintegrate Taliban who
renounce al-Qa'ida, lay down their arms, and engage in
the political process.

8. (SBU) Our Partner in Pakistan: Our partnership with
Pakistan is inextricably linked to our efforts in
Afghanistan. To secure our country, we need a strategy
that works on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan
border. The costs of inaction are far greater.

The United States is committed to strengthening
Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that pose the
greatest threat to both of our countries. A safe haven
for those high-level terrorists whose location is known,
and whose intentions are clear, cannot be tolerated.
For Pakistan, we continue to encourage civilian and
military leadership to sustain their fight against
extremists and to eliminate terrorists' safe havens in
their country.

We are now focused on working with Pakistan's democratic
institutions, deepening the ties among our governments
and people for our common interests and concerns. We
are committed to a strategic relationship with Pakistan
for the long term. We have affirmed this commitment to
Pakistan by providing $1.5 billion each year over the
next five years to support Pakistan's development and
democracy, and have led a global effort to rally
additional pledges of support. This sizable, long-term
commitment of assistance addresses the following
objectives:

(1) Helping Pakistan address immediate energy, water,
and related economic crises, thereby deepening our
partnership with the Pakistani people and decreasing the
appeal of extremists;

(2) Supporting broader economic reforms that are
necessary to put Pakistan on a path towards sustainable
job creation and economic growth, which is necessary for
long-term Pakistani stability and progress; and

(3) Helping Pakistan build on its success against
militants to eliminate extremist sanctuaries that
threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, the wider region, and
people around the world.

----------------------------------
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS THE REVIEW
----------------------------------

9. (SBU) Why Review?

- In the six months after the strategy was announced
in March, several important factors changed:

- New U.S leaders were assigned to Afghanistan, with
both a new Ambassador and a new NATO commander
arriving in Kabul;

- The Taliban proved resilient as General McChrystal
reported in his assessment;

- Across the border, Pakistanis took the fight to the
extremists that threatened their state; and

- The Afghan election process highlighted serious
questions of corruption which hampers effective
governance in Afghanistan.
What is the President's decision?

- Our overall goal remains consistent: "to disrupt,
dismantle, and eventually defeat al-Qa'ida and to
prevent their return to either Afghanistan or
Pakistan."

- This more focused strategy includes four main
objectives for Afghanistan:

- Targeting the insurgency to prevent a return of al-
Qa'ida and the Taliban's overthrow of the Afghan
Government.

- Denying the insurgency access to and control of key
population centers.

- Training Afghan forces so that they can secure
their own country.

- Transferring responsibility for security to
Afghanistan by creating conditions that will allow
us to reduce the U.S. and international force level
in Afghanistan beginning in 2011.

- Our strategy is refined to reflect changing
regional realities, and our desire to send a clear
message of international resolve to our allies and
the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan,
demonstrated by:

- Serious long-term investments in our partnership
with Pakistan and redoubling efforts to assist
Pakistan in its fight against extremists.

- Working in Afghanistan toward realistic and
targeted improvements in security, governance, and
development, which are focused on key ministries in
the center and specific sub-national elements of
government.

- As the President said in March: "Going forward, we
will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will
set clear metrics to measure progress and hold
ourselves accountable. We'll consistently assess
our efforts to train Afghan security forces and our
progress in combating insurgents. We will measure
the growth of Afghanistan's economy, and its
illicit narcotics production. And we will review
whether we are using the right tools and tactics to
make progress towards accomplishing our goals."
Why are we adding tens of thousands of additional troops
into Afghanistan when al-Qa'ida is not there? Why are
you proposing this enormous military footprint in
Afghanistan when there are all sorts of other places
that al-Qa'ida actually is e.g., Somalia, Yemen,
Pakistan, etc.?

- Al-Qa'ida designed the 9/11 attack in Afghanistan.

- Afghanistan remains vulnerable to al-Qa'ida
reestablishing safe havens.

- The terrain, strategic location, and governance
structures of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
region make it uniquely attractive and useful as a
safe haven for al-Qa'ida.
What is different about the new approach?

- Target, Train and Transfer: The new plan gets more
troops into the region a surge sooner than
initially anticipated. It will allow us to target
insurgent forces. By relying on the partnering
plan outlined by General McChrystal, it also
accelerates the timeline for building the Afghan
security forces. With more capable Afghan National
Security Forces, we are creating the conditions to
begin to hand over the main responsibility for
security to Afghan forces starting July 2011.

- Pakistan: Pakistani political leadersincluding
opposition party leaderscame together to support
the Pakistani military operations. This fall, the
Pakistanis expanded their fight against extremists
into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan
along the border with Afghanistan. Our strategy
recognizes this shift and is designed to deepen our
partnership with Pakistan as we redouble our
efforts to assist the Pakistanis in their fight
against our common enemy, the extremists.

- International Engagement: The new implementation
guidance places greater emphasis on an
international contribution to Afghanistan, asking
our allies to do more to support the civilian
government and the growth of the Afghan National
Army and Afghan National Police.

- Governance: The new plan puts the emphasis on the
Afghan Government to assume greater responsibility
for combating corruption, improving governance and
providing security for the Afghan people.
If you are stating that you are withdrawing in 2011,
won't the enemy just wait us out? Aren't you signaling a
lack of resolve to the Afghans and the enemy?

- Let's be clear here. Since President Obama came
into office, he has nearly tripled the amount of
U.S. forces and civilians in Afghanistan. Our U.S.
commitment speaks for itself. This commitment,
however, cannot and should not be open-ended. The
Afghan National Security Forces and Afghan people
are capable and want to be self-governing and self-
securing. We will help them set the conditions
over the next two years so that we can begin to
transfer responsibility to them for security in
July 2011.

Why did the review take so long?

- This review looked at the problem from all
directions and represented a whole of government
approach. The President by his deep personal
engagement took a team with a range of views on
this matter and developed a consensus approach that
creates an all-of-government effort in Afghanistan.

- The process was a serious look at the situation on
the ground, the assumptions under which we were
operating, and our goals and objectives in
Afghanistan and Pakistan. The President led a
serious review, ensured all views were heard, asked
the central and important questions that forced
members of his national security team to challenge
their own staffs to think hard about the problem
and even harder about the solutions.

- The President wanted to make sure that his effort
to get the strategy right honored the men and
women, military and civilian, U.S. and allied, who
are risking their lives to implement it on the
ground as well as to our allies in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and elsewhere in the region, who are
counting on this international effort to ensure
regional security that goes far beyond the borders
of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

- No additional units were sought before 2010, so the
review did not result in any delay in getting
additional troops into Afghanistan.
Why should the American people support this revised
strategy?

- Affording al-Qa'ida and its extremists allies an
unchallenged safe haven in Afghanistan or Pakistan
puts the United States and our allies around the
world at an unacceptable level of risk.

- This strategy ensures that we are clearly focused
on al-Qa'ida and the threat it poses to the
Homeland.
What is our strategy in Pakistan?

- Our partnership with Pakistan is linked to our
efforts in Afghanistan. To secure our country, we
need a strategy that works on both sides of the
border to ensure that al-Qa'ida cannot count on a
safe haven in Afghanistan or Pakistan from which it
plans attacks on us or our interests.

- The United States is committed to strengthening
Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that
pose the greatest threat to both of our countries.
A safe haven for those high-level terrorists whose
location is known, and whose intentions are clear,
cannot be tolerated.

- Defeating these extremists requires a partnership
with Pakistan. This strategy affirms that
partnership by providing $1.5 billion each year
over the next five years to support Pakistan's
development and democracy. The United States has
led a global effort to rally additional pledges of
support.

What is our new strategy in Afghanistan?

- We have a vital interest in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. We must keep the pressure on al-Qa'ida,
and we must bring stability to the region. This is
the wellspring of the violent extremism practiced
by al-Qa'ida. It is from here that we were
attacked on 9/11. It is from here that new attacks
are being plotted as we speak. This is no idle
danger, nor hypothetical threat. In the last few
months alone, we have apprehended extremists within
our borders who were sent here from these safe
havens to commit acts of terrorism.

- This danger will only grow if the region slides
backwards, and al-Qa'ida can operate with impunity.
And this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is
not just America's war. Since 9/11, al-Qa'ida's
safe havens have been the source of attacks against
London and Amman and Bali. The people and
governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are
endangered. And the stakes are even higher within a
nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that
al-Qa'ida and their allies seek nuclear weapons,
and we have every reason to believe that they would
use them.

- These facts compel us to act. And our overarching
goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and
defeat al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and
to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our
allies from either country in the future.

- To meet that goal, we will pursue the following
objectives within Afghanistan. We must deny al-
Qa'ida a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's
momentum and deny it the ability to control
population centers. And we must strengthen the
capacity of Afghanistan's National Security Forces
and government, so that they can take the lead and
take responsibility for Afghanistan's future.
Is the new approach COIN or CT?

- The situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is
complex requiring a multi-disciplined approach. It
includes elements of counterterrorism and
counterinsurgency.

- The President has committed the resources to
degrade the Taliban and ensure it does not
overthrow the Afghan Government.

- At the same time, we are expanding our
counterterrorism campaign.

- The new approach draws on the expertise of General
Petraeus the country's foremost expert on COIN
and General McChrystal the country's foremost
expert on counterterrorism, and is reinforced by
Ambassador Eikenberry, who has served three tours
in Afghanistan in both civilian and military
capacities. We will use both approaches to target
extremists, train new security forces, and transfer
authority to a capable Afghan force.
The American public seems to no longer support sending
troops to Afghanistan - is it time to leave?

- The President recognizes that this may not be the
most popular decision, including within his own
party. But he is committed to keeping the American
people safe. And this strategy will keep the heat
on al-Qa'ida, which still seeks to do us harm,
while more rapidly training Afghans to assume
security operations in their own country. As we
transition to Afghan lead, we will begin to bring
our troops home.
I have heard analysts say that al-Qa'ida is in Pakistan
and not in Afghanistan. Why aren't we focusing more on
Pakistan?

- We are focusing on both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We are working closely with the Pakistani military
to support their efforts to country extremists in
their territory, while continuing to train Afghans
so that al-Qa'ida will not have a safe haven in
either country.

- We have a vital interest in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. We must keep the pressure on al-Qa'ida,
and we must bring stability to the region. It is
from here that we were attacked on 9/11. It is
from here that new attacks are being plotted as we
speak. This is no idle danger, nor hypothetical
threat. In the last few months alone, we have
apprehended extremists within our borders who were
sent here from these safe havens to commit acts of
terrorism. President Karzai has done little to
demonstrate that he has changed. Why should we invest
further in Afghanistan without first seeing progress
in improving Afghanistan governance from Karzai?

- In his inauguration speech, President Karzai
announced a new chapter with the Afghan people and
outlined a new Compact with his people focused on
improving governance, reducing corruption,
reintegrating insurgents who wish to come back into
Afghan society, enhancing economic development, and
helping Afghanistan establish its role in the
region.

- In the area of corruption, President Karzai has
already established a Major Crimes Task Force and
an Anti-Corruption Tribunal, demonstrating his
commitment to fighting corruption.

- President Karzai has publicly and privately
expressed his desire for progress in these key
areas in Afghanistan in the months and years ahead,
and renewed his commitment to serve the Afghan
people who have reelected him as their President.
We will continue to demand results from the Afghan
Government and will ensure that our investments are
targeted to well-functioning and transparent
institutions and individuals.

This year, Afghanistan became the second most corrupt
nation in the world, ranking 179th out of 180 countries
on Transparency International's 2009 Corruption
Perceptions Index, falling from 176th in 2008 and 172nd
in 2007. Why hasn't the United States been able to
reduce corruption in Afghanistan, and what does the
United States intend to do differently under the new
strategy?

- The United States Government recognizes that the
high level of corruption in Afghanistan undermines
security, development, and rule of law objectives,
undermines the legitimacy of the Afghan Government,
and contributes to the country's illicit narcotics
trade.

- In his inauguration speech, President Karzai has
announced his desire to address corruption and
recently announced the establishment of a Major
Crimes Task Force (MCTF) and the Anti-Corruption
Tribunal (ACT). He also announced plans to reform
the existing High Office of Oversight.

- President Karzai has publicly and privately
expressed his desire for progress in these key
areas in Afghanistan in the months and years ahead,
and renewed his commitment to serve the Afghan
people who have reelected him as their President.
We will continue to demand results from the Afghan
Government and will ensure that our investments are
targeted to well-functioning and transparent
institutions and individuals.
We haven't seen much progress in building the Afghan
police and military in the past few years? Why should
we believe that we will be able to hand over to Afghans
anytime soon?

- Training efforts to date have been underresourced,
and the plan developed by General McChrystal draws
on the lessons learned from Iraq.

- General McChrystal's plan calls for us and our
allies to accelerate our efforts to build the
Afghan National Security Forces, and calls for a
substantial increase in trainers and support to
grow the Afghan National Security Forces.

- Until this year, training the Afghan National
Security Forces was not a priority and not properly
resourced. We have not yet begun to feel the full
effect of the 4,000 new U.S. trainers we deployed
in September. Increased participation by our NATO
allies in training efforts, focused leadership
development, expanded training units, and other
efforts aimed at improving retention within the
forces, will accelerate progress.

We have heard a lot about the disagreement between
General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry. What has
been the reaction of Ambassador Eikenberry and General
McChrystal to the President's decision? Will the
additional resources and guidance meet General
McChrystal's needs as outlined in his assessment?

- General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry
released statements affirming their commitment to
our mission in Afghanistan.

- The President has full confidence in General
McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry.

- They will testify together soon after the
President's announcement.

Your own Ambassador to Afghanistan questioned the wisdom
of adding new troops. Why was Ambassador Eikenberry
wrong?

- You know, the President did bring together people
with a range of views on this effort. And over the
course of 10 meetings and 30 hours of
deliberations, he brought them together to a
consensus, all-of-government approach on one of the
world's most volatile regions.

- Ambassador Eikenberry fully supports General
McChrystal's assessment and has never opposed the
addition of troops, which are necessary to bolster
the Afghan National Security Forces. He fully
supports the President's decision. Ambassador
Eikenberry was a key participant of the review
process, and he expressed his views fully and
privately.

Can Congress have access to the Eikenberry cables? If
not, why not?

- Ambassador Eikenberry will be available to discuss
his viewpoints with Members.

- His communications were part of a confidential,
presidential deliberative process.

What is the political solution in Afghanistan? We were
hoping for an Afghan President with a mandate from the
electorate and the legitimacy that entails. We don't
have that; so can we achieve our mission with this
current Afghan Government?

- President Karzai has an extraordinarily difficult
job. He had important accomplishments during his
first term, but there were also disappointments.
We welcome President Karzai's inaugural commitment
to working towards our common goals in security,
providing services to the Afghan people, anti-
corruption, and economic reconstruction.

- Governance is not just about Kabul or President
Karzai; legitimacy is not just about elections.

- Our new strategy recognizes the political
dimensions of the Afghan conflict. It supports
Afghan Government efforts to reintegrate those
willing to renounce al-Qa'ida, lay down arms, and
participate in the free and open society enshrined
in Afghan constitution.

President Karzai has as his Vice President a known
warlord and as a key backer an accused war criminal.
How can the United States Government do business with
these kinds of people?

- In recent years, President Karzai has appointed
competent ministers in key ministries, and we will
continue to partner with such ministers.

- The face of the Afghan Government for many Afghans
is their local leadership, tribal elders, or
religious figures, not the central government.

- Our new strategy is to expand our partnership with
these and other sub-national actors and
institutions, in coordination with the national
government.

What steps will you take to make sure our own aid and
contracting doesn't fuel corruption?

- Given the great amount of resources devoted to
Afghanistan, our programs and processes receive
extraordinary measures of oversight, including by a
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction.

- USAID programs have been audited multiple times,
and all United States Government agencies are
required by law to vet potential contractors' names
against public websites to ensure that money isn't
going into the hands of known terrorists and
criminals.

- A viable, licit economy and increased security are
the long-term solutions to cutting down on this
kind of criminality.

- We work closely with the Afghans and international
partners to take tactical action against specific
targets involved in financing of the Taliban and
al-Qa'ida and to build the capacity of our Afghan
partners in strategic areas to better track their
funds.

Aren't we going to be continuing to have to put in
billions of dollars per year for the next 10, 20, 30
years, and aren't we going to have to leave our troops
there for the foreseeable future? When does it end?
How long will we have our troops there, and how long


- This new strategy is designed to more rapidly train
Afghans so they can join in the fight to secure
their country. President Karzai wants Afghanistan
to assume security responsibilities as soon as
possible and that is what this strategy will do.

- And even as we drawdown our combat forces at the
end of this extended surge, we will contribute to
international training and financial support to
Afghan National Security Forces.

- Our economic assistance and civilian support to
Afghanistan will be long term. Afghanistan is one
of the world's poorest countries and is susceptible
to violent extremism that impacts U.S. interests.

To me this plan and the vast amounts of resources that
will inevitably come with it are nation-building
extraordinaire (Senator Corker characterized the
Administration's efforts this way at an earlier
briefing). How can we afford to do this during a time
when Americans are out of work and hurting; and when we
have record deficits? Are you proposing to pay for this
new Afghanistan surge by just adding to the debt and
putting it on the backs of our kids and grandkids or are
you going to raise taxes? Is the Administration willing
to make some tough trade-offs here?

- All of our programs in Afghanistan are tied to our
national security objective to prevent the return
of al-Qa'ida. Preventing al-Qa'ida's return
requires strengthening Afghan institutions to
oppose violent extremism.

- This is not nation building. It is a targeted
effort to target extremists, train capable Afghan
forces, and transfer authority to those forces and
the Afghan Government.

Why aren't NATO countries and the rest of our allies
putting more troops and resources on the table?

- Other allies and partners have indicated support
for the President's announcement, and we are now
engaged in extensive discussions regarding
additional assistance, including troops, trainers,
and financial commitments.

- NATO committed additional resources following our
March 2009 strategy announcement.

- Japan recently announced $5 billion in assistance
for Afghanistan, and many other countries have
expanded their support.

What does victory in Afghanistan look like?

- When the Afghans can take control of their own
security and can handle a degraded Taliban and when
al-Qa'ida does not have a safe haven in either
Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Aren't you coming up short on your promised tripling of
civilians? When are they all going be on the ground?
What's taking so long?

- State and other civilian agencies have moved faster
in surging staff into Afghanistan than ever before;
we have more than doubled the number of civilians
already on the ground since January, and we are on
track to meet the goal of tripling the number of
civilians with the right people in the right
place at the right time. This is a sharp contrast
to the experience in Iraq where civilians were
deployed to meet numerical goals but without the
right skills.

- Today, we have names and arrival dates for all but
66 positions which means that 94 percent of the
positions will be filled by the end of the year or
very early next year.

- The civilian plan has adapted to evolving
requirements -- we accelerated our schedule by
three months and expanded the number to incorporate
new needs identified by Ambassador Eikenberry and
his team during the course of the strategic review.

If Afghanistan is the national security priority you say
it is, why do we not even have 1,000 civilians serving
there versus the tens of thousands of troops? When is
the State Department finally going to step up to the
plate and have some capacity?

- Unlike their military counterparts, civilians are
selected and deploy as individuals, not battalions.

- The civilian impact is far greater than numbers:
the average civilian leverages 10 partners --
locally employed staff, Afghan and international
experts from U.S.-funded NGOs.

- There's a different purpose and way of working on
the civilian side: we want the civilians
supporting and building the capacity of their
Afghan counterparts who must be the forward face of
these shared programs.

Why are we still so reliant on private contractors in
Afghanistan and even in Pakistan? Why is Blackwater /
Xe still operating in both countries?

- We do not want to get into a discussion about what
contractors may or may not be operating in
Afghanistan or Pakistan.

- Even while we are providing greater resources to
both Afghanistan and Pakistan, State and USAID are
implementing a major shift in how we program funds.

- Pursuant to the President's push to move away from
contractors, we are:

- Doing more through the governments of Afghanistan
and Pakistan, even while reinforcing their
Ministries' abilities to account for and implement
programs; and

- Identifying local NGOs who can take on more
programs, with oversight from a larger number of
direct-hire Americans who are more directly
involved in designing and monitoring programs.

- Contract services are sometimes needed. For those
cases, we have strengthened monitoring and
contracts. We have clearly signaled zero tolerance
of contractor impropriety and our actions to force
the removal of misbehaving employees and to review
terms of such contracts sends that message loudly.

Al-Qa'ida's top leadership is in Pakistan; terrorists
from Pakistan infiltrated Mumbai, India, and killed
dozens of people; and all I see in this latest plan is
more coddling of the Pakistani Government. We've
treated the Pakistanis with kid gloves the past eight
years..when are we finally going to play some hard
ball?

- Pakistan is a complex country, but also a critical
ally in our common effort to fight violent
extremists and promote regional security. We have
a serious and ongoing dialogue with Pakistan on
combating al-Qa'ida and other extremists in South
Asia. We work cooperatively with Pakistan to
strengthen its counterinsurgency capacities to
combat extremists.

- We understand and appreciate the sacrifices the
people of Pakistan are making to win the war
against extremism and bring security and peace to
their country. Hundreds of Pakistani security
officials have been killed in the fight against al-
Qa'ida and the Taliban in Pakistan.

Do you believe the Pakistani Government maintains ties
to extremist groups?

- We have made clear to Pakistan that confronting
violent extremism of all types is in its own
interest and in the interest of regional stability.

- The Government of Pakistan increasingly sees
violent extremists as a threat to the Pakistani
state as well as to regional stability.

Isn't the Pakistani Government just as corrupt as the
Afghan Government? Isn't our money going to be wasted,
especially if you move ahead with your plans to put more
money through Pakistani organizations?

- We take corruption in Pakistan seriously and are
taking measures to monitor closely our aid
disbursement in Pakistan and to make sure that it
accomplishes its intended purpose.

- Among the steps we are taking:

- The appointment of Ambassador Robin Raphael as the
economic assistance coordinator in Pakistan to
closely supervise all assistance to the country;

- Establishment at Embassy Islamabad of offices for
the Inspectors General for State, USAID, and DOD;
and

- Planning to increase the number of USAID personnel
in Pakistan to supervise ongoing projects there,
including at the provincial and local levels.

If we can't make progress without India and Pakistan
coming to some agreement, what are you doing to work on
that?

- We have strong bilateral relations with India and
Pakistan that are based on shared interests.

- We believe both India and Pakistan have an
important role to play in stability and security of
South Asia. We are engaged with them both and
encourage them to work together to bring peace to
their region.

- Ultimately, it is up to India and Pakistan to set
the pace and parameters for improving their
relations.

Recent reporting, including by Seymour Hersh, indicate
that Pakistani nuclear weapons are unsafe and that the
United States has plans to seize Pakistan's nuclear
assets. Can you assure the American people that
Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is 100 percent safe?

- The United States has no intention to seize
Pakistani nuclear weapons or material and has
confidence in the ability of the Pakistani
Government to protect is nuclear assets.

Does the United States have plans to seize Pakistan's
nuclear weapons if they are in danger?

- The United States has no intention to seize
Pakistani nuclear weapons or material and has
confidence in the ability of the Pakistani
Government to protect is nuclear assets.

10. (SBU) Budgetary Implications of the Af-Pak Strategy

The President's decision to expand the U.S. efforts in
Afghanistan is based on the best interests of U.S.
security. The financial costs were a concern, but not
the concern.

The direct costs for the military related to the new
strategy in Fiscal Year 2010 are expected to range
between $25 billion and $30 billion. There may be
additional costs associated with, for instance, the
diplomatic and civilian components of this strategy.
More precise figures will be determined in the next two
weeks.

How much will it cost to deploy these troops to
Afghanistan?

- The direct costs for the military related to the
new strategy in Fiscal Year 2010 are expected to
range between $25 billion and $30 billion. More
precise costs will be determined in the next two
weeks.

- In addition, there may be costs associated with the
diplomatic and civilian components of this
strategy, as well as some limited DOD and
intelligence costs not directly related to the
surge (higher fuel costs, for instance).

- Let's be clear: the President's decision to expand
the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan is based on the
best interests of U.S. security. The financial
costs were a concern, but not the concern.

- The Administration is in the process of finalizing
the financial side of this strategy. We will look
to see how much of these costs can be addressed
through the funds already budgeted. The
Administration will work with Congress on any
necessary additional funding.

Won't this lead to more deficit spending?

- All war costs are and will be accounted for in
the President's budget unlike the practice of the
previous administration.

- As the President has made clear time and again, he
takes our large deficits seriously, and as part of
the FY 2011 budget process, we are exploring ways
to put our nation on a more solid fiscal footing.

Does the Administration support a war tax to pay for
this escalation?

- The President has demonstrated his commitment to
being honest and upfront about the costs of
military operations, and included $130 billion to
cover the anticipated costs of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan in his Fiscal Year 2010 budget. That
transparency makes the fiscal impacts clear and
understandable.

- The Administration is in the process of finalizing
the financial side of this strategy. We will look
to see how much of these costs can be addressed
through the funds already budgeted. The
Administration will work with Congress on any
necessary additional funding.

IF PRESSED: Are you ruling out a war tax?

- The Administration will work with Congress to find
the best way to pay for the new strategy in
Afghanistan, as well as for the 68,000 troops
already there and the troops who continue to serve
in Iraq costs that have been pushed aside for too
long.

- The President has demonstrated his commitment to
being honest and upfront about the costs of
military operations, and included $130 billion to
cover the anticipated costs of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan in his Fiscal Year 2010 budget. That
transparency fully owns up to the costs of this war
and insists that they get added to the overall
budget debate that is going to have to take place
over the next several years.

Do you think these increased war costs will jeopardize
your domestic agenda?

- No.

- In developing his budget, the President is keenly
aware of the interaction between domestic and
international priorities and the importance of
both.

Why are the final cost numbers not available now?
Weren't they essential to the President's decision
process?

- The President's decision was informed by a reliable
estimate of approximately $1 million per soldier
per year. The costs informed the President's
decision, but did not determine it.

- The President's decision to expand the U.S. mission
in Afghanistan is based on the best interests of
U.S. security. The financial costs were a concern,
but not the concern. They informed the President's
decision, but did not drive it.

- Final figures are dependent in part on operational
decisions (i.e., speed of deployment, timing of
deployment). Now that the strategy decision is
final, the Administration will work to provide more
thorough data on the best approaches to execute the
mission.

Will additional funding only be requested for the
Defense Department? Or does the Administration
anticipate needing funds for other departments?

- The President outlined a comprehensive strategy for
Afghanistan. While the major funding will be for
the military, there also may be requirements for
the State Department, for medical care for our
troops, and for other activities.

- The Administration is working through the overall
mission requirements now and expects final
financial cost data within two weeks.

Surely, the State Department will need more funding.
You're talking about a civilian surge to help with
humanitarian and development needs. How much will that
require?

- There may be additional costs associated with the
diplomatic and civilian components of this
strategy. There also are programmatic activities
that may be necessary as the troop level expands in
Afghanistan.

- The Administration is working through the potential
policy and resource implications for all of the
departments and agencies. More precise figures will
be determined in the next two weeks.

- Final figures are dependent in part on operational
decisions (i.e., speed of deployment, timing of
deployment) and a consideration of the overall
impacts. Now that the strategy decision is final,
the Administration will work to provide more
thorough data on the best approaches to execute the
mission.

Will you need more money to pay for the medical care for
our troops, especially when they come home?

- The medical care of our troops and our veterans is
a top priority for this President. The
Administration is committed to ensuring that our
troops receive the best quality care for their
injuries, and the best support as they return home.

- If it's determined that additional funds are
necessary to ensure that quality of care for our
troops and veterans, then the Administration will
work with Congress to provide those resources.

IF PRESSED: But are you doing enough now to prepare for
what will surely be a bigger strain on Defense and VA
medical care?

- The President has proposed a record funding
increase for the VA providing over $25 billion in
new money over the next five years. A primary
focus area is improving treatment for post-
traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and
associated ailments -- the signature military
medical challenges facing the Department for years
to come.

- The President also pressed the Defense Department
for substantial improvements to the care for
wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers --
especially increased screening and treatment of
mental health conditions. The Defense Department
is completing additional wounded warrior complexes
at posts throughout the continental U.S., as well
as sites in Alaska, Hawaii and Germany.

- If it's determined that additional funds are
necessary to continue providing high-quality care
to our troops and veterans, then the Administration
will work with Congress to provide those resources.

Will you need to request supplemental funding?

- The Administration will look to see how much of
these costs can be addressed through the funds
already budgeted. The Administration will work
with Congress on any necessary additional funding.

Earlier this year, didn't you say, "No more supplemental
bills"?

- The President's budget requested $130 billion for
full-year funding for the then-anticipated costs in
Iraq and Afghanistan. The President has made clear
his commitment to funding the wars in an upfront,
transparent manner.

- The Administration will work with Congress on any
additional funding necessary because of changes to
our strategy.

Isn't the Administration's estimate roughly $1
million/troop larger than the Pentagon early cost
estimate (approximately $500k/troop)?

- In the initial accounting, DOD provided estimates
with a limited scope, looking almost exclusively at
direct costs per soldier, such as pay, food,
medical support, and personal equipment like body
armor.

- In the final accounting, the Administration builds
on the Pentagon data, providing more thorough cost
estimates that include support and equipment
functions such as mine resistant, ambush-protected
(MRAP) armored vehicles and other major, necessary
items. These costs tend to increase as troop
levels increase.

- The final Administration accounting also may
include funding needed for the other departments.

IF PRESSED for more on the differences between early
Pentagon cost assessments and Administration
assessments:

There are two basic methods used to estimate the costs
of additional troops for Afghanistan. Both methods
provide only rule-of-thumb estimates of the potential
costs of adding more troops. The cost estimates below
are therefore a range of the potential costs rather than
an exact number.

- The first method (DOD method) captures costs that
result directly from deploying more troops, such as
pay, food, medical support, fuel, equipment
maintenance and repair, and personal equipment
(e.g., body armor). This method yields an
estimated cost per troop of about $500,000, taking
into account costs in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as
well as support costs in the region. In
Afghanistan, where costs are generally higher due
to its difficult terrain and poor infrastructure,
the estimated cost per troop is roughly $700,000.

- The second method (Administration method) "fully
burdens" the cost per troop with a pro-rata share
of other war-related costs in Afghanistan, such as
major end-item purchases like airplanes,
helicopters, trucks (including mine-resistant
ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles), as well as
military construction and the costs to train and
equip the Afghan security forces. These costs are
not directly linked to the number of deployed
troops, but tend to increase as troop levels
increase. This method yields an estimated cost per
troop of roughly $1 million.

11. (U) Minimize considered.

CLINTON

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