Kerry Plans 'Hard Look at Afghanistan'

Foreign Relations Committee must ensure effort is 'Afghan, not American'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 10, 2009 1:35 PM CDT
In this photo taken Saturday, June 20, 2009, U.S. Marines step through a hole they blew in a mud wall during a battle against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan's Helmand province.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will “take a hard look at Afghanistan” in the coming months, John Kerry tells GlobalPost. The committee hasn’t yet publicly scrutinized the administration’s effort in the country, but “we are not going to abrogate our responsibility,” says the senator, who made a name for himself testifying against the Vietnam War before the committee he now chairs.

“In fairness to this administration, they have done what prior administrations did not do, which is accurately define a mission and a rationale for our presence,” Kerry says. Key to the mission is ensuring “that this is an Afghan operation and not an American one.” Success, Kerry notes, “depends on whether the Afghans themselves invest and start engaging.” Meanwhile, the Senate will study the House climate change bill—and Kerry says the upper chamber won’t change it much.