From the Wall Street Journal: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization plans to create a new top civilian post in Kabul to flank its military chief in Afghanistan, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, and the British ambassador to Afghanistan [Mark Sedwill] is the leading contender, senior officials familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The announcement could be made as soon as Jan. 28, the day of an international conference on Afghanistan that’s scheduled to be held in London, they said. The new appointee would head the civilian pillar of the U.S.-led coalition’s work here, directing the flow of funds and aid to the provinces, and–if necessary–bypassing corrupt Afghan institutions. The appointee also would play a prominent role in trying to woo Taliban-led insurgents to switch sides and to reintegrate them into society.

A British government official said that the United Nations and European Union will also likely announce new special representatives to Afghanistan at or around the London conference.  (photo: PBS)