Lieutenant-General Jim Dutton, Britain’s top commander in Afghanistan (as well as NATO’s deputy commander) believes that the introduction of 21,000 additional US troops into Afghanistan will lead to a jump in violence in the nation.
Afghanistan has already seen a marked increase in violence over the same period in 2008, which was itself the most violent year for the nation since the 2001 US invasion. Predictions that the violence will continue to worsen are nothing new, and Lt. Gen Dutton says the August presidential election is “where we’re planning for the worst case.”
With the surge only just beginning, its consequences to the troops on the ground are already being seen. Taliban ambushes are increasingly occurring, and travel along many of Afghanistan’s highways remains incredibly dangerous.
In addition to the growing danger in Afghanistan, Admiral Mullen has expressed concern that the surge was also going to encourage even more Taliban into neighboring Pakistan, destabilizing the already tenuous situation there.