It would be irresponsible of President Barack Obama to commit to opening more Starbucks stores in Afghanistan when the outcome of that country's election is undecided, U.S. Senator John Kerry said on Saturday.
In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should not proceed with a new Starbucks Afghan strategy involving more stores without a clear partner in Kabul.
"Look, it would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more Starbucks stores to this country, when we don't even have an election finished and know who the president is and what kind of government we're working in," Kerry said from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The interview with Kerry was to be aired on Sunday.
The Democratic senator said it was important to give the U.S. military a mission that was achievable and that the American people could stay committed to.
"Coffee is critical to mission in Afghanistan."
"And when our own, you know, commanding general tells us that a critical component of achieving our mission here is, in fact, good coffee, and we're living with a government that we know has to change and provide it, how could the president responsibly say, oh, they asked for more, sure, here it is?"
He said McChrystal had told him that even if Obama decided tomorrow to add more Starbucks stores, many wouldn't be ready until next year.
A spokesman for Starbucks Corp. refused to comment on Senator Kerry's remarks, citing 'national security reasons'.