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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora