Gen. Dunford not consulted on Afghan war review
WASHINGTON (PAN): Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has been nominated by the US president to be his next commander in Afghanistan, has not been consulted on highly-anticipated war recommendations of Gen. John Allen, the current commander of US and NATO forces.
“Senators, I have not been included in those conversations,” Dunford told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, when asked about the war recommendations prepared by Gen Allen. The suggestions will be submitted to the White House in the next few weeks.
Such a response from Dunford surprised Senator John McCain, who asked if he knew what the recommendations were. “Boy, that's interesting to me. The guy that's going to take over the command has not even been included in those conversations.”
Dunford replied: “I think I have an understanding of the framework within which that decision ought to be made. I've certainly identified what I think are the most important variables that need to be considered, but again, have not been involved in the detailed planning.”
Responding to questions, the general said the issue of insurgent safe havens in Pakistan still needed to be addressed and inside Afghanistan he identified corruption as the most significant strategic challenge.
“I believe corruption is the most significant strategic challenge to meeting our objectives in Afghanistan… I have reviewed the framework within which corruption is being addressed, both at the United States Central Command, by the US embassy in Kabul, and International Security Force assistance,” he added.
Dunford hoped the US-Afghan bilateral security agreement might influence Pakistan to stop hedging its bets on terrorist networks. “I think Pakistan hedges its bets based on what they believe our long-term commitment to the region would be. And their calculus will be changed as a result of their knowing that we are not only going to be there through December of 2014, but we'll be there beyond 2014 to secure our national objectives.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.