U.S. wants new Afghanistan strategy by April

U.S. national security adviser Gen. Jones said that problems in Afghanistan required more than a military response.

U.S. wants new Afghanistan strategy by April

A comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan must be agreed by the NATO summit in April, U.S. national security adviser and retired Gen. James Jones told a German newspaper.

Jones, who is to speak at the Munich Security Conference later on Saturday, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily the problems in Afghanistan required more than a military response.

"Not everything has collapsed but the trends don't look good," Jones said.

"We need more than a military solution," he added, noting that it was a mistake that the country's justice system was not being reformed more thoroughly and that more police were not being trained. By the NATO summit in April, a new, comprehensive strategy had to be developed, the paper quoted him as saying without giving direct quotes.

"DRUGS BUSINESS IS THE ECONOMIC FUEL OF THE INSURGENCY"

NATO and the Afghan government had to stop the drugs business to curb the "economic fuel of the insurgency".

"Answers will not be unilateral but multilateral," he said, according to extracts of the interview in German published by the newspaper. Jones said a boost to troop numbers alone would not "bring an answer on its own".

Jones said the United States would conduct a general review of its foreign policy within 60 days.

Jones is participating at the security conference in southern Germany, which brings together more than a dozen heads of state and government and defence experts to discuss security issues including Afghanistan, the future of NATO and Iran.

On Friday, Ari Larijani, the speaker of Iran's parliament, told the conference U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to send an envoy to the Middle East to sound out countries in the region was a "positive signal".

Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Jones viewed Larijani's remarks positively. One could see a readiness for dialogue, the paper cited Jones as saying in reported speech.

Obama has named former U.S. Senator George Mitchell as his envoy to the Middle East. Richard Holbrooke has been named special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2009, 15:54
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