Afghan/Pakistan strategy "not a straightjacket"
Published: March 27, 2009
President Obamas team didnt have many specifics about the new Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy Friday, but they had plenty of metaphors to describe it.
The strategy calls for setting a series of benchmarks to mark progress, but officials are just starting the process of figuring out what these benchmarks will be.
Let me say that this strategic review is a roadmap for moving forward: Its a strategy, its not intended to be a campaign plan or a straightjacket, said Bruce Riedel, who chaired the White House review.
In that same vein, the strategy also avoids setting time lines, Riedel said.
Were not going to impose artificial constraints, he explained.
To sum up: The strategy has broad goals but no specific objectives, nor does it say when such objectives need to be completed.
This is not a straightjacket, a blue print, said Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its a framework, within which there is plenty of flexibility ideas which are not in the report.