Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Secretary Hillary Clinton Testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee on Afghanistan Strategy

Early this morning, about 9:00am, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to help paint the picture of and sell President Obama’s new war strategy.

They both gave opening remarks. In Secretry Clinton's remarks she emphasized the civilian side of the surge while bringing up personal reflection:

Let me speak briefly at a more personal level about why we are making this commitment. Simply put, among a range of difficult choices, we believe this is the best way to protect our nation now and in the future. The extremists we are fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan have attacked us and our allies before. If we allow them access to the very same safe havens they used before 2001, they will have a greater capacity to regroup and attack again. They could drag an entire region into chaos.

Our civilian and military leaders in Afghanistan have reported that the situation is serious and worsening, and we agree. In the aftermath of September 11th, I grieved with sons, daughters, husbands and wives, those whose loved ones were murdered. It was an attack on our country. It was, at the time, an attack on my constituents. And I witnessed the tragic consequences in the lives of thousands of innocent families, the damage done to our economy, and our sense of security. So I feel a personal responsibility to help protect our nation from such violence.

That civilian effort is already bearing fruit. Civilian experts and advisers are helping to craft policy inside government ministries, providing development assistance in the field, and working in scores of other roles. When our Marines went into Nawa this July, we had civilians on the ground with them to coordinate assistance the next day. And as operations progress, our civ-mil coordination is growing even stronger.

We are on track to triple the number of civilian positions in Afghanistan to 974 by early next year.

Read Secretary Clinton's remarks here or watch below:

View LOTS MORE PHOTOS after the cut! Go on, click it!


Gretchen said...

I wonder what she really thinks...hmmmm. I guess we'll have to wait a while to find out.

Stacy said...

I wonder how she can testify for upwards of 8 hours for two days in a row and then hop on a plane to Brussels. She's the energeizer rabbit, that one!

kmb08 said...

I think she must be exhausted all the time, eventhough, I feel she loves her work. Whenever the camera pans on her if she happens to be in the audience as an observer, her eyelids appear verrrrry heavy and sleepy. I feel sympathy for her.

Anonymous said...

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