Top US army official calls for major strategy shift to win war-on-terror in Afghanistan

September 11th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 11 (ANI): A top US military officer has said that America was not winning its war-on-terror in Afghanistan, and called for an overhaul in US war strategy, warning that thousands more troops were needed to battle an intensifying insurgency there, besides a greater US military involvement across the border in the strife-torn countrys tribal areas.

I am not convinced that were winning it in Afghanistan . Im convinced we can. Frankly, we are running out of time. Not sending US reinforcements to Afghanistan is too great a risk to ignore, said Adm. Michael Mullen, who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee.

A day after US President George Bush announced sending more troops in Afghanistan by 2009, Mullen and US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signaled that they would give increasing priority to the Afghan war and the expanding insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan . The war on terror started in this region. It must end there, the Washington Post quoted Gates as telling the Committee.

Mullen said the new influx of US forces into Afghanistan does not meet the demands of commanders there, but is a good start.

The paper said that violence has mounted in Afghanistan for more than two years from an increasingly sophisticated and brazen insurgency fueled by havens in Pakistan . As a result, the war is exacting a worsening toll on coalition forces, with the number of US troops who died there so far this year - 109 - projected to surpass last years high of 117.

Mullen laid stress on working closely with Pakistan government to eliminate militants. Afghanistan and Pakistan are inextricably linked in a common insurgency that crosses the border between them. Until we work more closely with the Pakistani government to eliminate the safe havens from which they operate, the enemy will only keep coming, said Mullen.

He did not, however, give details as to how the US military could better help Pakistan battle insurgents in tribal areas, although he reiterated that the US will remain involved in training Pakistan s Frontier Corps (FC). (ANI)

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