In an interview that aired this morning on CNN, Senator John Kerry cautioned President Obama “against raising troop levels in Afghanistan, saying it would be “entirely irresponsible” to do so while the Afghan government remains in turmoil following national elections.”
Speaking from Afghanistan, Kerry, who is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. should listen to the advice of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in that country.
“When our own, you know, commanding general tells us that a critical component of achieving our mission here is, in fact, good governance, and we’re living with a government that we know has to change and provide it, how could the president responsibly say, oh, they asked for more, sure, here they are?,” Kerry said.
Obama and advisers have “held five meetings in recent weeks to discuss U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they continue to weigh a call from Gen. McChrystal for as many as 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan.”
However, complaints of voter irregularities have dogged the Afghanistan election and the United States’ mission there. At a press conference earlier this month, the top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Kai Eide said the vote was marred by “widespread fraud.”
The Independent Election Commission is expected to soon finish an audit and recount of suspicious ballots. The independent commission is a “constitutional body” that conducts “free and fair elections” in an “impartial way” according to its Web site.