Reconciliation is what takes place, of course, at higher levels. President Karzai has been very clear about the red lines for reconciliation, accept the constitution, lay down their weapons, cut their ties with al Qaeda and essentially become productive or at least participating members of society in that regard.
This is actually true of the overall fight against al-Qaeda and trans-national extremists, that as you put pressure on them in one location, they'll seek safe haven sanctuaries in other areas. So you do have to continue to pursue them. But they have less capability.
We're here so that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al-Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks in the Kandahar area, conducted the initial training for the attackers in training camps in Afghanistan before they moved on to Germany and then to U.S. flight schools.
The art of coalition command - whether it is here in Afghanistan, whether it was in Iraq or in Bosnia or in Haiti - is to take the resources you are provided with, understand what the strengths and weaknesses are and to employ them to the best overall effect.
The progress in Iraq is still fragile. And it could still be reversed. Iraq still faces innumerable challenges, and they will be evident during what will likely be a difficult process as the newly elected Council of Representatives selects the next prime minister, president, and speaker of the council.
The Germans have done wonderful work. Not long ago, a German battle group battalion conducted a very impressive counterinsurgency operation in a portion of Baghlan province. I think these are the first counterinsurgency operations conducted by any German element after World War II. And they did a very impressive job.
Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters - all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.
President Obama has said that our aspirations should be realistic. We are not going to turn one of the poorest countries in the world, that was plunged into 30 years of war, into an advanced, industrialized, Western-style democracy. What we want to achieve is Afghanistan's capacity to secure and govern itself.