US General calls for more troops in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by B-17engineer, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Report: U.S. general calls for more troops in Afghanistan - CNN.com

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- America's top commander in Afghanistan warns that more troops are needed there within the next year or the nearly 8-year-old war "will likely result in failure," according to a copy of a 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.

    "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible," U.S. and NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, according to the Post.

    Bob Woodward of the Post -- who wrote about the leaked 66-page document -- will appear on CNN's "American Morning" on Monday.

    The document was "leaked" to the newspaper, but parts were omitted after consultations between the newspaper and the Department of Defense, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

    "While we would have much preferred none of this be made public at this time, we appreciate the paper's willingness to edit out those passages, which would likely have endangered personnel and operations in Afghanistan," Morrell said in a statement.

    President Obama is considering the assessment of troop levels completed by McChrystal over the summer, however, a review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan won't be driven "by the politics of the moment," Obama said on Sunday.

    "Every time I sign an order, you know, I'm answerable to the parents of those young men and women who I'm sending over there, and I want to make sure that it's for the right reason," Obama told CNN's "State of the Union."

    The president put off questions about whether additional troops would be needed, saying, "I don't want to put the resource question before the strategy question." But he said Afghans need to show that they are "willing to make the commitment to build their capacity to secure their own country."

    The United States now has about 62,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with NATO and other allies contributing about 35,000 more. The Pentagon is planning to add 6,000 troops by year's end, and some members of Congress say McChrystal soon will call for thousands more.

    The fighting has ramped up sharply in the past year as U.S. troops and a NATO-dominated coalition battle a resurgence of the Taliban, the al Qaeda-allied Islamic militia that ruled most of Afghanistan before the attacks. Washington poured an additional 21,000 troops into Afghanistan to provide security for its recent presidential election, which has been marred by allegations of fraud.

    In August, 48 U.S. troops were killed in the fighting, surpassing the previous high of 45 in July. And the war has spread into Pakistan, where Taliban fighters are now battling government troops in that nuclear-armed country.

    Obama said he has ordered "a soup-to-nuts re-evaluation" of the U.S. strategy, refocusing "on what our original goal was, which was to get al Qaeda, the people who killed 3,000 Americans" in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    "To the extent that our strategy in Afghanistan is serving that goal, then we're on the right track," he said. "If it starts drifting away from that goal, then we may have a problem."

    But support for the Afghan war hit an all-time low in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released last week. That survey found 39 percent still favor the war, compared with 58 percent who oppose it -- making it almost as unpopular as the Iraq war has become in recent years. And calls for more troops could be a tough sell in Congress.

    Sen. Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has argued that the allies should bolster Afghan forces before sending in more troops of their own. Video Watch what Levin has to say about Afghanistan ยป

    "If we can get the Afghan army much larger, much better equipped, and if we can also get a plan, finally, for co-opting or reintegrating those lower-level Taliban people the way we did in Iraq -- if we can get that in motion -- that hopefully will have an effect on how many additional troops we need to go to Afghanistan," Levin told CNN on Sunday.

    Leading Republicans have called for McChrystal and Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in the Middle East and Central Asia, to testify publicly about their recommendations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told CNN that it was time for lawmakers to hear what McChrystal has to say.

    "We would like to see Gen. McChrystal and Gen. Petraeus come up to Congress, like they did during the Iraq surge and give us the information about what they're recommending," McConnell said. "We think the time for decision is now." But he added that if more troops were needed, "I think the president will enjoy a lot of support among Senate Republicans."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said a decision on additional troops needs to be made soon.
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    "I've been told Gen. McChrystal's ready to hit the send button in terms of how many more troops he needs, and the longer we wait the harder it is," said Graham, of South Carolina.

    Levin said hearings would be held "when we have a recommendation that is made to the president, and when the president makes his decision."
     
  2. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Is it just me, or does this not sound like Westmoreland?
     
  3. PJay

    PJay Member

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    US/NATO do need more troops in Afghanistan. Areas need to be taken and HELD if anything is to be achieved.
    Petraeus knows this.
    Most of the NATO contributions are derisory. NO disrespect to the brave troops etc fighting there.
    Currently about 10% of the British Army are in that hellhole.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Australia has about 1300 personnel there at the moment, and about 5000 on overseas deployment overall. A ninth battalion has been added to the army to try and lessen the long term pressure on the peacetime force structure.

    Currently we are debating whether to send a second battalion to Afghanistan. But resistance to the war is mounting as casuaties continue to climb.

    I dont think there is any option other than to reinforce and achive a victory of some sort. pulling out will just make things much worse.

    I also notice the pakistanis are claiming a series of significant victories over the taliban in recent months. It also appears Al Qaeda is starting to lose support (according to media reports), and the taliban in Pakistan is starting to receive some hostility from the local tribal leaders
     
  5. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    That's good news! But the Taliban aren't really as powerful as they used to, right? (I'm not sure, I've just recently read stuff, in current events.)
     
  6. PJay

    PJay Member

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    The Aussie and Canadian troops punch above their weight. More power to their elbows.
     
  7. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    #7 RabidAlien, Sep 22, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
    :occasion5:

    My question is this: what else are we (all of the allied armies in Afghanistan) doing over there? Kicking butt is good and all, but once the fighting is done, are we just going to lock up the bases and go home to a nice parade? Or are we going to stick around, not necessarily to provide a police force or occupation-army, but to help stabilize the area, build schools/hospitals, etc? Winning the war doesn't do much if you don't also win the hearts and minds of the people and remove the problem that allowed the Taliban to gain a foothold to begin with. In another thread, there's some discussion about Pakistan having nukes and how bad that is, due to the general population being mostly illiterate and ignorant, and therefore more inclined to believe anything their "elected" leaders decide to spout. Wouldn't providing basic necessities like medical and education and trade-skills go a LOOOONG way to changing the thought-processes of the "illiterate, unwashed masses" and force the "elected" leaders to rethink their strategies? Or is this way of life simply too deeply ingrained to be changed within a generation or two?


    "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world . . . and then we f*cked up the end game." - Charlie Wilson
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Afhhanistan is too primitive to think that it can be democratized, or civilized by good health care. For thyese people warfare is a way of life. They have been attacking each other, foreigners, and the trade routes that pass through their country for centuries.

    Having said that, I still think the mission is worthwhile, though its parameters need to be far more clearly defined. We are not there to undertake any sort of nation building, or democratization. We are not there to solve the terrorism issue permanently. What we are there for is to remove the capability of the region to export terrorism on a massproduced scale. I think the way to do that is to attack whatever leadership structures of the two main terrorist groups are, including applying the principals of "hot pursuit" across borders. This would be a very limited war aim, but it is achievable. Once done,, we should burn everything that we can, and try and seal the borders as much as we can....nobody in, and nobody out.....for as long as possible.
     
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