The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says there is an urgent
need in that country for more foreign and Afghan troops, as well as a
new strategic approach, to reverse Taliban gains, or the mission "will
likely result in failure."
But General Stanley McChrystal also says that "while the situation is
serious, success is still achievable" if the mission is properly
resourced and supported throughout the coalition.
McChrystal's remarks are part of his strategic assessment still officially secret, but The Washington Post published an unclassified version on its Web site Monday.
In the document, the general says that success is not ensured by
additional troops alone. He writes that the U.S. and NATO effort has
long been under-resourced, and that must change within the next year or
the coalition "risks an outcome where defeating the Taliban is no
Afghan President Hamid Karzai told CNN Monday he supports McChrystal's
recommendation for more U.S. troops. But he also emphasized the need
for greater protection of Afghan communities and civilians.
The Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman on Monday declined to discuss the
details of McChrystal's strategic assessment, calling it
"pre-decisional" and "classified."
Whitman said U.S. President Barack Obama and his national security team
are reviewing it. He would not say, however, when General McChrystal
will make his expected request for more troops, or when a decision
might be made.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president has not yet
received a formal request for more forces in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.N., Zahir Tanin, told VOA that Afghan
citizens' key concern is whether the troops can deliver security and
defeat insurgents. He said they are not focused on the number of
foreign troops in the country or which strategy is implemented, as long
as those goals are accomplished.