Wire: US Military Says Afghan Force Insufficient
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2009 -- Newswire services late this evening reported that American military commanders with the NATO mission in Afghanistan told President Obama’s chief envoy to the region this weekend that they did not have enough troops to do their job, pushed past their limit by Taliban rebels who operate across borders, according to an article published on The New York Times Web site.
The NYT article noted that the commanders emphasized problems in southern Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents continue to bombard towns and villages with rockets despite a new influx of American troops, and in eastern Afghanistan, where the father-and-son-led Haqqani network of militants has become the main source of attacks against American troops and their Afghan allies.
Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is completing an assessment of what he needs to win the fight there. That review, however, won't specifically address force levels, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In a separate report, The Associated Press said as public support for the war in Afghanistan erodes, President Obama soon may face two equally unattractive choices: increase U.S. troops levels to beat back a resilient enemy, or stick with the 68,000 already committed and risk the political fallout if that's not enough.
The problems are compounded by new questions over the credibility of the Afghan government, which has just held an as-yet inconclusive presidential election beset by complaints of fraud, NYT said.
Some military officials privately believe McChrystal may ask for as many as 20,000 additional forces to get an increasingly difficult security situation in Afghanistan under control, AP said.
Mullen on Sunday described the situation in Afghanistan as "serious and deteriorating," in a interview with CNN, but refused to say whether additional forces would be needed.
See links below for details.
(Report from newswire sources.)
U.S. Military Says Afghan Force Is Insufficient
Obama facing hard choices on Afghanistan war plans
Tags: Wire, Headlines, DOD, Military, War, United States, U.S., News
Global Tags: Washington DC, News and Politics, News, Politics, Current Events, Current Affairs, Life, Culture, Buzz, Tension