New US team to work in tandem with Afghans, hopes Herawi
Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of CENTCOM, would be the new US commander in Afghanistan, while senior diplomat Ryan Crocker would take over as ambassador, the US president announced late on Thursday.
The incumbent US commander, Gen. David Petraeus, would be new CIA director, replacing Leon Panetta, who would take over from Robert Gates as the next defense secretary.
"Our tireless ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, has helped us dramatically increase our civilian presence of diplomats and development experts. Never before have our civilians and troops worked together so closely," Obama said.
The new US team was expected to work in harmony with the Afghan government, Ahmad Zia Siamak Herawi, President Karzai's deputy spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He characterised the changes as an internal decision of the Obama administration.
"What we expect of the US government and its new appointees is greater coordination in working with the government and people of Afghanistan. We want them to consider our suggestions and see the ground realities in Afghanistan," Herawi added.
In response to the query whether the changes would yield a positive result for this country, the spokesman said: "Giving an opinion in this regard will be premature. Let's us what programmes the Americans bring to Afghanistan."
A number of Afghanistan watchers believe the incoming US military and diplomatic leaders would favour a military solution to the problem, based on American intelligence tips.
The spokesman said Afghanistan's problems had long been clear to Washington. For their resolution, the new appointees were expected to act in unison with Afghans, he reiterated.
With the security transition scheduled to begin in July, Herawi was optimistic that the new team would pay more attention to strengthening and training Afghan forces.
He remarked: "Unfortunately, in some cases, there have been signs of inadequate coordination between US military and civilian representatives. And we don't see true coordination between their views."
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