On April 11 and 12, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command, and the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan co-hosted an intense interagency review of U.S. civilian and military (civ-mil) efforts in Afghanistan for the coming year. Dubbed a “Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) Drill,” this two-day session brought together senior U.S. officials from Washington, Tampa and Kabul with their partners in Afghanistan, including senior Afghan officials and representatives of key allied nations, to discuss shared challenges and opportunities ahead.
President Karzai met with the group on April 11 to offer his government’s support to this exercise. Throughout the two days, senior U.S. civilian and military leadership co-chaired working sessions focused on U.S. support for Afghan efforts to improve governance, agriculture, communication, and civ-mil coordination, among other priority areas. Senior U.S. officials including Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah also participated, as did leaders from 11 Afghan ministries and the Afghan Supreme Court, the military and civilian leadership of NATO-ISAF, and international officials from 11 embassies, the European Union and the United Nations.
Deputy Secretary of State Lew said "We spent the day with our partners listening to their advice as to what we need to do with them in order to be effective. It will and already has changed our thinking and it will continue to."
The ROC Drill enabled U.S., Afghan, and international officials to jointly review implementation plans and resources required for the coming year and provided an opportunity for detailed discussion of our work together to advance critical U.S., international and Afghan priorities. The participants agreed these discussions will make the joint efforts in Afghanistan more effective for the Afghan people.
“These two days were about partnership here in Afghanistan – with U.S., international, and Afghan leaders working together to achieve common objectives, with emphasis on inclusiveness and transparency in all endeavors. We were pleased to have President Karzai join us on Sunday afternoon, along with a number of his Ministers for both days. These were invaluable, very productive sessions,” said Central Command Commander General David H. Petraeus.
Summing up the ROC Drill, Special Representative Holbrooke stressed "we made a significant advance in relations between the Afghan government and the United States and our international partners."