News

Top US Military Officer Says More Troops Likely Needed in Afghanistan

U.S. Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that the United States probably will need to send more troops to Afghanistan to win the war against Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents.

U.S. military officials say they are in a race against time and mounting opposition from the American public to reverse the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, where violence has reached its highest level since the Taliban was ousted from power in 2001.

Mullen discussed the troop levels in testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. "A properly resourced counter-insurgency probably means more forces and without question, more time and more commitment to the protection of the Afghan people and to the development of good governance," he said.

Mullen did not say how many more soldiers would be needed, but he said he expects a request for additional troops in the next two weeks from U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

The United States now has about 62,000 troops in Afghanistan, nearly double the number from last year. The number of American forces in Afghanistan is slated to reach 68,000 by year's end.

Despite President Barack Obama's earlier decision to send an additional 17,000 combat troops and 4,000 trainers for Afghan forces, U.S. officials say the security in areas infiltrated by the Taliban continues to worsen.

Admiral Mullen says that if the Taliban retake control of Afghanistan, the country will again be a safe haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaida. "It is the epicenter of terrorism right now. It is very clear that in fact al-Qaida is diminished while it is living in Pakistan, and this is a Pakistan-Afghanistan issue. They are by no means dead. It is a very serious threat," he said.

Mullen called for patience with U.S. and NATO efforts in Afghanistan as the American public and some members of Congress are becoming increasingly uneasy about the conflict.

A recent CNN survey shows that 58 percent of Americans oppose the war, while 39 percent support it.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Democrat Carl Levin says the Pentagon should not send any additional troops to Afghanistan until the United States takes more aggressive action to expand Afghanistan's armed forces. "Providing the resources needed for the Afghan Army and Afghan police to become self-sufficient would demonstrate our commitment to the success of a mission that is in our national security interest, while avoiding the risks associated with a larger U.S. footprint," he said.

Some members of Congress are urging the Obama administration to learn from the Iraq War, where a surge in U.S. forces helped to quell violence.

"Every day we delay in implementing this strategy and increasing the number of troops there - which we all know is vitally needed - puts more and more young Americans who are already there, their lives in danger," said

Republican Senator John McCain, who says more troops should be deployed quickly.

Admiral Mullen says the situation in Afghanistan will continue to deteriorate without a renewed U.S. commitment.

He says General McChrystal found conditions worse than he expected when he took command a few months ago.

This year has been the deadliest for foreign forces in Afghanistan since the conflict began nearly eight years ago.

 
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs