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More US Troops Move Into Afghanistan - 2001-11-04


America's top military officer says more U.S. troops have moved into Afghanistan. General Richard Myers says there has been an increase in the number of specially trained soldiers working with Afghan opposition forces. They arrived over the weekend. "Just last night and the night before we put in a couple more teams with opposition leaders," he said Sunday, "and the more teams we get on the ground, the more effectively we will bring air power to bear on the Taleban lines, and we continue to do that."

During an appearance on the NBC television news program Meet the Press, General Myers said the operation is going according to plan and will not be diverted by the harsh Afghan winter. "We are going to fight right through the winter," he said. "The winter is not going to stop us from doing what we have to do." He went on to say the United States will make sure that anti-Taleban forces in Afghanistan have the supplies they need to survive months of cold, freezing rain and snow. "We are re-supplying the opposition with ammunition, with food, with blankets, and we hope in the not too distant future with cold-weather gear," he explained. "The fighting forces on the side of the opposition and on our side will be much better prepared for winter than will the Taleban."

In a subsequent broadcast interview with ABC's This Week, the operation's commander, General Tommy Franks, said the goal is to keep constant pressure on the Taleban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization. He said it is important to focus on the overall aim of the operation. "And that is the destruction of terrorist networks inside Afghanistan who have global reach, and the illegitimate government that harbors them," he said.

Both generals also took strong issue with a report in The New Yorker Magazine that said 12 U.S. soldiers were hurt last month in a raid on Afghanistan. They said there were injuries related to parachute jumping, but no one was wounded by enemy fire.

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