The U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan has expressed hope that the
incoming administration will act quickly to provide more U.S. troops
General David McKiernan said during his visit to Washington Tuesday
that there are not enough troops in some parts of the country --
particularly the south and the west -- to provide security for the
McKiernan said he had requested four additional combat brigades, as
well as support and specialized forces, that could total 20-thousand
troops. He said his request has support in the U.S. chain of command.
The first of the additional troops are expected to arrive in
Afghanistan in January. But the deployment of further troops will be
decided by President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office January 20th.
Also Tuesday, the top U.S. military officer said the Pentagon is
developing plans to get troops quickly out of Iraq and into Afghanistan
to battle a more confident Taliban.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Admiral Mike Mullen said the
Pentagon has already identified and practiced travel routes out of Iraq
through Turkey and Jordan.