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US May Double Troop Presence in Afghanistan

  • VOA News

The top U.S. military officer says the United States may double the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan next year.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, told reporters in Kabul on Saturday that up to 30-thousand additional troops could arrive by the middle of 2009. The U.S. currently has 31-thousand troops serving in Afghanistan.

Mullen said more must be done to promote development and effective governance in Afghanistan for the troop build-up to be successful. U.S. military officials say Washington has already authorized an additional combat aviation brigade of nearly three-thousand troops expected to deploy early next year.

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces, U.S. General David McKiernan, has requested at least four more brigades, or roughly 20-thousand troops, to battle the rising Taliban insurgency.

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