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U.S. defense chief calls for civilian coordinator in Afghanistan
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08:52, December 12, 2007

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Roberts Gates Tuesday suggested that a civilian officer be appointed to coordinate the international aid in Afghanistan.

In a prepared testimony for a hearing at the House Armed Services Committee, Gates expressed his hope that the officer could be appointed in the weeks.

After a trip to Afghanistan last week, Gates said that he found the country's government still needs help in effectively coordinating international aid, which is a key to ensure the security gains.

"Even with devotion of U.S. resources that I've mentioned, there has not been sufficient follow-on reconstruction, development or security by other allies, and this has put at risk areas that have been cleared of insurgents," he said in the testimony.

"What is needed is a strong civilian representative to coordinate all nations and key international organizations on the ground," Gates added.

According to the official statistics released last month, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the United States about 1.6trillion U.S. dollars, translates into a cost of 20,900 dollars for a family of four.

Source: Xinhua

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