U-S government officials are resisting calls to expand international security operations in Afghanistan beyond Kabul.
A new State Department report to Congress says there would be serious logistical and command problems with sending the current International Security Assistance Force of five-thousand troops outside the capital. The report says expanding it into rural areas would be "almost impossible" for foreign troops.
However, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says U-S policy on the issue remains the same. He said the United States is not opposed to an expansion of security operations in Afghanistan, but he did not say that Washington would back such a move.
Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Abdullah is visiting Washington to lobby for more help for his country. But the a French news agency report says Mr. Abdullah appears to concede that his country is far from getting more help in security operations.
Meanwhile, a top U-N official for Afghanistan is urging Iran and Pakistan not to send Afghan refugees home, saying the struggling country can not absorb them quickly enough. U-N Special Representative for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to brief the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan today (Thursday).