Bond Talks Strategy with President’s Nominee to Lead Military Operations in Afghanistan, Calls on Senate to Confirm Quickly

Bond
Talks Strategy with President’s Nominee to Lead
Military Operations in Afghanistan, Calls on Senate to Confirm
Quickly

Senator:
Diplomatic, Economic Efforts Central to Military’s
Success

            WASHINGTON,
D.C.
– U.S. Senator
Kit Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a
senior member of the Defense and Foreign Operations Appropriations
Subcommittees, today met with Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, President
Obama’s choice to be the next military commander in Afghanistan to discuss the
way forward in the region. The Senator stressed the need to employ Smart Power –
or non-military diplomatic and economic efforts – in cooperation with military
force to combat terrorism and extremism in the Afghanistan-Pakistan
region.

            “The
dedicated members of the American military, our intelligence professionals and
State Department officials continue to serve our country well,” said Bond. “It
is essential that the efforts of each be woven together to form a comprehensive
strategy that will not only win the battle, but win the
war.”

           
During his meeting with McChrystal, Bond reiterated the comprehensive strategy
outlined in a report he sent last year to then President-elect Obama and members
of his national security team. In the report, the Senator highlighted the need
for President Obama to gain support of local leaders in the region and the need
for the United States Government to work with those leaders to provide the
people what they need, not what we think they need.

Bond knows
first-hand the success that can grow out of cooperation with local leaders and
supported initial efforts to create the Missouri National Guard Agriculture
Development Team (ADT) in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province where he visited in
December.  This team, made up of personnel with varying civilian and
agricultural backgrounds, is teaching Afghans the skills they need to grow and
harvest legitimate and sustainable crops. As a result, Afghan farmers are not
only improving their own lives and land, but the temptation to grow narcotics is
lessening.

In recent months
the Senator has applauded President Obama for his appointment of a Special Envoy
to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and for providing a broad outline for
success, but he has cautioned that the devil is in the details.

Today, Bond
praised the selection of General McChrystal as the right man at the right time
to lead military operations in Afghanistan and called on the Senate to confirm
him quickly so he can get on the ground in Afghanistan as soon as
possible.

“General
McChrystal is not only a dedicated and accomplished military man, he is an
effective leader who understands the critical challenges we face in the region,”
Bond said. “Even more importantly, he understands that the war will not be won
with military might alone – that to win this war we must combine the outstanding
work of our military with effective diplomatic and economic efforts.  The Senate
needs to confirm quickly this nomination so General McChrystal can get on the
ground in Afghanistan in the next few days.”