President Obama’s new Afghanistan policy may include stationing more diplomats and civilians there, officials tell the Washington Post. Obama’s national security advisers are expected to present a plan next week that would send hundreds of government officials from departments like Agriculture and Justice, along with temps yet to be hired, to broaden and complement the Afghanistan-Pakistan war strategy.
The civilian surge would complement military efforts to make Afghanistan secure enough that it’s no longer a launching pad for global terrorism. Tapped to lead the expansion are Peter Galbraith, who would serve as deputy to the top UN official there, and Francis Ricciardone Jr., who would be the US embassy’s deputy ambassador. The proposal indicates that an Afghanistan exit strategy remains years away, an official notes.