US Commanders in Afghanistan Demand Even More Troops

Generals Criticize 'Limited' Response in Pakistan

by Jason Ditz, August 24, 2009

With the situation in Afghanistan continuing to deteriorate, the massive escalation of the war by President Obama, which is being continued in spite of polls suggesting that a majority of Americans oppose the war, is no longer enough for many top commanders in Afghanistan, they want more and they want it now.

The commanders say that with the growing power of the Taliban, which officials have said is higher than at any time since the 2001 invasion, they no longer have enough troops to fight the war, even though 17,000 had just arrived to provide protection for the election.

In addition, the military has recently shifted a dramatic number of additional spy planes and drones to the Afghan theater. Even this, it seems, has not been enough to stem the tide of resurgent Taliban.

Some of the generals also reportedly criticized Pakistan’s military for its “limited response” to the cross border traffic. This comes at a time when Pakistan is fighting several wars along its vast border with Afghanistan, largely at the behest of the US, and those wars are destroying the local economy and driving millions from their homes.

The final push for additional troops will likely come in the form of Gen. McChrystal’s long-delayed assessment, though officials insist the general will not lay out any specific numbers. The war’s unpopularity in the US and increasing international disquiet over the disputed election are likely to make further escalation a tough sell, though President Obama seems intent on making a massive landwar in Central Asia the centerpiece of his foreign policy.

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