Even MORE troops to Afghanistan?

U.S. military says force in Afghanistan isn’t big enough

By Helene Cooper New York Times

BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Military commanders with the NATO mission in Afghanistan told President Barack Obama’s chief envoy to the region this weekend that they did not have enough troops to do their job, pushed past their limit by Taliban rebels who operated across borders.

The commanders emphasized problems in southern Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents continue to bombard towns and villages with rockets despite a new influx of U.S. troops, and in eastern Afghanistan, where the father-and-son-led Haqqani network of militants has become the main source of attacks against U.S. soldiers and their Afghan allies.

The possibility that more troops will be needed in Afghanistan presents the Obama administration with a new problem in dealing with a nearly 8-year-old war that has lost popularity at home, compounded by new questions over the credibility of the U.S.-backed Afghan government, which has just held an as-yet inconclusive presidential election beset by complaints of fraud.

The assessments about troop needs came as the top American commander in the region, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been working to complete a major war strategy review, and as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, described a worsening situation in Afghanistan despite the recent addition of 17,000 U.S. troops ordered by the Obama administration and the extra security efforts surrounding the presidential election.

“I think it is serious, Advertisement and it is deteriorating,” Mullen said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “The Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated, in their tactics.” He added that McChrystal was still completing his review and had not yet requested additional troops on top of the those added by Obama.

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