Though the specific troop requests widely expected to come from General Stanley McChrystal have been received yet, Admiral Michael Mullen says that he expects there will needed to be more troops and “without question, more time and more commitment” to the Afghan War.
Coming just a day after he co-wrote a piece touting the continued escalation of the war, Senator John McCain cheered Admiral Mullen’s comments, saying every day the US doesn’t further escalate the eight year long conflict “puts lives in danger.”
Yet other senators, notably Carl Levin, pressed the admiral on the wisdom of adding to the US combat force. Sen. Levin has advocated keeping troop levels roughly flat and adding to the “civilian surge” aimed at training the large but largely ineffective Afghan military.
Gen. McChrystal’s official troop request is expected in the next few weeks, but it has already been reported that he will request around 20,000 additionaltroops for the conflict. Though the war is increasingly unpopular, it is widely expected that President Obama will endorse the troop request.