The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has completed a
months-long strategy review and delivered his assessment to U.S. and
U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal says the situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and strategic changes must be made.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters (while in the southern U.S. state of Texas) Monday that he is looking forward to seeing the assessment.
Gates said a lot of positive things are happening in Afghanistan, such as more U.S. and coalition troops being assigned to the country. But he added that higher casualties are expected as coalition forces invade Taliban strongholds.
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the assessment does not include specific requests for more troops, but U.S. President Barack Obama and NATO leaders could discuss the issue later.
Whitman said the review is being viewed as a confidential military assessment, and there are no plans to release it to the public.
President Obama had called for the U.S. strategy review in Pakistan and Afghanistan to battle a growing insurgency of Taliban and al-Qaida militants.
Earlier this month, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he believes the situation in Afghanistan is "serious and deteriorating."
And last week, The New York Times reported that U.S. military commanders (with the NATO mission) in Afghanistan said they do not have enough troops to do their job.
The newspaper did not identify its source, but said commanders emphasized to U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke in recent meetings that they needed more troops.