The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says President Barack Obama's new
war strategy is achievable, and that the number of American combat
troops there can be reduced beginning in mid-2011.
Speaking Tuesday on Capitol Hill, General Stanley McChrystal said he
fully supports President Obama's decision to send 30,000 additional
U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
McChrystal said he is confident the U.S. now has both the right
strategy and resources in Afghanistan for success. He said he believes
he will know within a year whether the troop buildup is working.
The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, who previously
questioned aspects of a troop buildup, said he, too, supports the
U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern about corruption in the Afghan
government and the president's plan to start withdrawing troops in July
2011. Some lawmakers say that setting a timetable for a withdrawal only
emboldens al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Eikenberry said the president's strategy offers the best path to
stabilize Afghanistan, and to ensure that al-Qaida cannot regain a
foothold to plan new attacks against the United States and its allies.
General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry are testifying before both the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
General McChrystal previously warned of failure in Afghanistan without an additional 40,000 U.S. forces.