U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed fight, talk, and build as new formulation on Afghan/Pakistan strategy during an interview with Wendell Goler of Fox.
During the interview, Ms. Clinton emphasized that there is an need to do all three simultaneously.
“We do have to keep fighting, and we are. We are seeking an end to the sanctuaries on both sides of the border. We have to do more on this side, and we expect to do more and see the Pakistanis step up and do more on their side.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton stated that on the talking path, President Karzai has made clear that he’s not going to respond to offers, as unfortunately was the case with the suicide bomber who killed Professor Rabbani. He’s going to want a proper process.
“President Karzai iss going to want, as he says, an address where the negotiations can be held and where we know who it is that’s negotiating. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. So we intend to work with him for an Afghan-led process to try to put together talks that will lead to either
determining whether there are some Taliban who wish to abide by the red lines – cease violence, break off with al-Qaida, respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including the rights of minorities and women – or not. So we want to test that, and so does he.” -Ms. Clinton
On the building side, Ms. Clinton said there’s a lot of good work that has been and is going on in Afghanistan. She pointed out that the security problems, as they would be in any country, interfere with and undermine what could be the potential of that work being realized.
“So we have to continue to build while we try to fight and talk in order to increase the environment’s susceptibility to moving toward the outcome we seek.” -Ms. Clinton