Top Military Officer: "Probably" Need More Troops in Afghanistan

Joint Chiefs chair says training isn't enough

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2009  |  Updated 12:59 AM PDT
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A helicopter lands to remove wounded soldiers of the U.S. Army's Apache Company, 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, part of the 3rd Combat Brigade 10th Mountain Division based out of Fort Drum, N.Y., after their armored vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Tangi Valley of Afghanistan's Wardak Province, Wednesday Aug. 19.

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President Obama’s top military officer told skeptical Democratic lawmakers Tuesday that the U.S. “probably” needs to send more troops to Afghanistan to win the war.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he did not know how many troops would be needed for a surge, The Associated Press reported. He added that commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal would decide on the right number to request within weeks.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the committee’s head, said he opposed sending more troops and instead favored stepped-up training of Afghan 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 further increase in U.S. ground combat troops," he said.

But Sen. John McCain, R-Az. and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. complained that not committing enough troops to Afghanistan would be a disastrous move.

Get more: MSNBC
 

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