Sen. John Kerry warns that a major U.S. troop pullout could trigger civil war in Afghanistan, and a small-scale counterterror campaign is not an alternative to the broader U.S.-led military operation already under way.
Kerry's position would appear to rebut anti-war Democrats and others who question calls to deepen the U.S. stake in the 8-year-old war. But the Democratic senator also would not endorse a major military increase as advocated by the commanding U.S. general in Afghanistan. Kerry says General Stanley McChrystal's plan goes too far, too fast.
Kerry also told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday that anything that looks like backpedaling by the United States also destabilize would Pakistan, Afghanistan's neighbor.