Afghanistan strategy not working: US military chief

September 11th, 2008 - 3:42 am ICT by IANS  

TalibanWashington, Sep 11 (DPA) The top US military officer acknowledged Wednesday that the mission in Afghanistan is not succeeding and said a broader international approach was needed to stabilise the war-torn country.”I’m not convinced we’re winning it in Afghanistan,” Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House committee. “I am convinced we can.”

The US military has begun examining ways to adopt a more comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan, where Taliban and Al Qaeda militants seek refuge for launching cross-border attacks.

“In the absence of a broader international approach to the problems there, it is my professional opinion that no amount of troops in no amount of time can ever achieve all the objectives we seek in Afghanistan,” Mullen told the House Armed Services Committee.

There must be more foreign investment in Afghanistan and a greater effort to train judges and lawyers and build economic infrastructure, Mullen said.

“We cannot kill our way to victory, and no armed force anywhere, no matter how good, can deliver these keys alone,” he said.

Violence in Afghanistan has risen sharply since the beginning of the year, at times rivaling and even surpassing the bloodshed in Iraq. President George W. Bush announced Wednesday that he was withdrawing 8,000 soldiers from Iraq and that a Marine battalion slated to go there in November will now head to Afghanistan.

There are more than 40,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan - about half of them under NATO’s command.

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