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'Tough year' ahead in Afghanistan: US general (General David McKiernan)
AFP on Yahoo ^ | 2/18/09 | AFP

Posted on 02/18/2009 1:35:09 PM PST by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Even with an additional 17,000 troops in Afghanistan, the top US commander there predicted "a tough year" in 2009 and warned that the situation would not be quickly turned around.

General David McKiernan, who commands US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, spoke a day after President Barack Obama approved the deployment in the coming months of two additional combat brigades and support forces, about 17,000 troops in all.

"Even with these additional forces, I have to tell you, 2009 is going to be a tough year," McKiernan told reporters at the Pentagon.

"There are the baseline problems of poverty, and literacy, and violence that have occurred over the last three decades in that country, so that's not going to turn around quickly," he said.

"But we do see, with these additional forces, an opportunity to break this stalemate, at least in terms of security conditions in the south," he said.

McKiernan had requested up to 30,000 additional troops, which would nearly double the size of a US force that has grown to 38,000 troops.

The additional troops would be in place and operational by the height of the fighting season this summer and before Afghanistan's national elections August 20, he said.

The general said most of the additional forces would be used in the south, an area where security has deteriorated and where more forces are needed to wage an effective counter-insurgency campaign.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; bho44; bhodod; general; gwot; mckiernan; nato; oef; oefsurge; tough; year

1 posted on 02/18/2009 1:35:09 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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His patch says Ranger. I believe him.

General David McKiernan, Commander for NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan is pictured in 2008. Even with an additional 17,000 troops in Afghanistan, McKiernan, the top US commander there, predicted "a tough year" in 2009 and warned that the situation would not be quickly turned around. (AFP/File/Saul Loeb)


2 posted on 02/18/2009 1:36:09 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed.)
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maybe Hillary can make a visit and give a speech while ducking sniper fire.. Oh wait, wrong war.


3 posted on 02/18/2009 1:37:11 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed.)
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(AFP/Graphic)
A graphic on foreign troops in Afghanistan. NATO defence ministers gather
in Poland Thursday to reassess strategy on Afghanistan, as the United States
prepares to deploy 17,000 more troops to fight Taliban-led insurgents.

4 posted on 02/18/2009 1:39:40 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I can’t help but think of Obama in the context of Bill Clinton in Somalia, and it fills me with a very clear sense of dread...


5 posted on 02/18/2009 1:41:50 PM PST by Badeye (There are no 'great moments' in Moderate Political History. Only losses.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Not being able to properly interrogate terrorists isn’t going to help that is for sure.


6 posted on 02/18/2009 1:42:36 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares (Refusing to kneel before the socialist messiah. 1-20-13 Freedom Day.)
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A U.S. soldier with Alpha Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment provides security during a visit by his unit at Khas Kunar refugee camp, Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan February 18, 2009. (Oleg Popov/Reuters)


U.S. soldiers prepare to go for a patrol in Ghazni province Februray 18, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama, in his first major military decision as commander-in-chief, has ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to tackle an intensifying insurgency, the White House said on Tuesday. (Shir Ahmad/Reuters)


7 posted on 02/18/2009 1:42:52 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed.)
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To: NormsRevenge
“There are the baseline problems of poverty, and literacy, and violence that have occurred over the last three decades in that country, so that's not going to turn around quickly,” he said

I don't know this guy at all so I don't know if he is or is not the man for the job. But the statement above seems like the his intention is to overcome poverty,illiteracy and violence. That's not why we should send our troops over there for. It that's your goal send social workers our troops need to be free to fight and nothing else.

I am hearing from those on the ground that their hands are already being tied in this fight.

8 posted on 02/18/2009 1:58:40 PM PST by Recon Dad (Marsoc Dad)
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To: Recon Dad

Prayers for our troops. I can’t say I trust our CiC at all, but if our soldiers have a complete green light( which I wonder about the ROE’s over there) we’ll do alright.


9 posted on 02/18/2009 2:12:07 PM PST by Karliner (Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before. DDE)
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To: NormsRevenge

We need a massive boost in troops to counter the fact that Pakistan is rapidly becoming an Islamo-Nazi state of 200 million people.


10 posted on 02/18/2009 2:13:16 PM PST by LuxAerterna
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