Hot on the heals of the announcement that President Barack Obama had approved adding 17,000 more US troops to the war in Afghanistan, top US commander in Afghanistan General David McKiernan conceded that the level of violence in the nation was increasing and expressed hope for the surge.
Gen. McKiernan’s assessment of the situation was hardly his usual combination of unflappable optimism coupled with charges that the media was making the situation seem worse than it really was. Indeed, the general conceded that in southern Afghanistan forces are “at best, stalemated.”
The surge was somewhat short of the amount Gen. McKiernan requested in December, but he believed the current amount would be sufficient to maintain the effort against what he described as a “very resilient” enemy through the summer. McKiernan added that the increased level of troops would need “to be sustained for some period of time,” saying it could be as long as five years.