On the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan: Instead of clearing the area and leaving as we frequently did in the past, our plans call for clearing the area, and holding the area, and then providing some building for the people there, better security, and better economic opportunities and more of an Afghan face, and then eventually transitioning to full Afghan sovereignty in those provinces.
On Hamid Karzai: We made it clear in President Karzai's second administration that he will be held to a standard that really requires him to attack these problems that we know have existed for a long period of time. He has committed to doing that. We participate and watch very closely who the appointees are that he makes for the very important positions, the cabinet and so on. Our judgment is that so far things are better in that regard.
On Afghans' destiny: Having been down in the region where these operations are taking place, and having visited the Afghan army training centers and talking to our commanders, both national and international on the ground, there is a new sense of confidence and optimism that we can, in fact, do what we say we are going to do, simply because the Afghans themselves. As a result of the timelines that I think the president has laid down, [they] have a sense of purpose now that this is their country, and this is their destiny that we are talking about, and we don't want Afghanistan to be a protectorate of the international community for the next couple years. We are looking for what is good enough to give the Afghans a chance to determine their own destiny. I think this operation is the kickoff, really, to that success story.