The Cable

Confirmed: Radelet begins new role at State

Steve Radelet has begun his new job as senior advisor on development in the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Radelet announced his move, which had been reported but not confirmed, in an email to staffers at the Center for Global Development, where he worked until Friday.

The development community has mixed feelings about the appointment. On one level, Radelet is seen a strong advocate for development, a straight shooter who's not afraid to ruffle feathers in his advocacy for a strong and independent aid mission. On the other hand, some see Radelet's placement inside Clinton's personal office as yet another sign that she is consolidating power over development at State, rather than at USAID.

Here's his parting email, below the jump:

From: Steve Radelet
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 10:33 PM
To: CGD Staff Announcement
Subject: Moving On....


Dear Friends,

Alas, all good things must come to an end, as so it is with mixed feelings that I let you know that Friday was my last day at CGD. I will miss everyone at CGD, but I am excited to begin a new position as Senior Advisor on Development in the Secretary's Office at the State Department. My apologies for not telling you all in person, but for many of you this is probably not such a great surprise, since it has been reported around town for the last couple of weeks. I am looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge of helping to elevate development alongside diplomacy and defense as a strong pillar of US foreign policy.

CGD has been a great place to work for me, both professionally and personally. I will treasure my memories of working with all of you. It's a great institution! And I look forward to seeing all of you in the near future!

You can reach me going forward at
Best regards,

The Cable

McChrystal predicts “real progress” in Afghanistan by December

With all the talk in Washington about Amb. Karl Eikenberry's leaked cables opposing President Obama's surge strategy, his military counterpart Gen. Stanley McChrystal is right on message, predicting the path to victory will be clear by the time the troops start to leave in the middle of next year.

McChrystal is setting six-month milestones for progress in a talk in Kabul, shown in this video provided by NATO TV:

"I believe that by this coming summer, it's going to be obvious to the people in this room that things have changed, but it won't be obvious to people 3,000 miles or 10,000 miles away," he says in the video, predicting progress just as additional combat troops begin to arrive

"I think by next December, we'll be able to show with hard numbers and things, real progress," McChrystal goes on, without getting into specifics. "We'll be able to go ‘Look, here's more areas we cover, here's this, this, this.'"

Here's the kicker:

"And I think by the summer of 2011, it will be enough progress where the Afghans and the Taliban particularly, believe it, believe they're not going to win," McChrystal says, identifying the breaking point of the Taliban as around the same time U.S. forces are slated to begin withdrawing.

Seeming to contradict himself, McChrystal also speaks at length about the need to have a sustained presence in remote Afghan areas to convince locals to take the huge risk of turning on the Taliban and siding with Afghan and NATO forces. He talks about the need to stay and prove to locals that their long-term interest is in supporting and even defending the government before the coalition can transfer security to Afghan control.

McChrystal also addresses the controversial issue of reintegrating Taliban fighters. Most foreign fighters can't be reintegrated, he says, and most local fighters won't switch sides -- they will simply decide to stop attacking the government forces.

"I think a lot of reintegration won't be formal," says McChrystal. "It will just be, you'll just notice there are fewer of them."