A senior U-S defense official says Washington should consider backing a larger peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan that would operate outside Kabul.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the size and unruliness of Afghanistan, as well as the problems facing the country's new administration may warrant an expanded mission. U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have both called for the International Security Assistance Force to patrol outside of Kabul.
Also Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council congratulated the Afghan people on choosing a new government and continuing on the path towards democracy.
In a unanimously approved resolution, the council praised Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, or grand council, for establishing earlier this month a transitional government and electing Mr. Karzai president.
The Security Council also called on the new administration to create a national Afghan army and police force, improve security, combat illicit drug trafficking, and establish the basis for a sound economy.
The U-N resolution also stresses the importance of international help for Afghanistan's government.