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U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Holds Hearing On Afghanistan

U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee met with U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke on July 14 to discuss the strategy for Afghanistan and any signs of progress in the nearly decade-old conflict to defeat the Taliban and their international terrorist allies.

Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts) said the administration's strategy for prevailing was not clear, something echoed by the committee's top Republican representative, Senator Richard Lugar (Indiana), who complained about "a lack of clarity" in U.S. war goals.

Holbrooke said that in the end responsibility for bringing stability to Afghanistan lies with the Afghan government, but he said the international community must continue to help that government.

"Afghanistan cannot go forward unless the international community -- led by its greatest nation, the United States -- continues to fulfill its commitments in the area beyond combat troops," Holbrooke said.

The Senate review of the strategy in Afghanistan comes as the United States, other foreign forces, and Afghan government forces are preparing for an offensive in the southeastern Kandahar region, the spiritual homeland of the Taliban movement.

with agency reports
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