Mullen: Next 18 Months Vital to Afghan War

Says Results of Conflict Could Shape Global Security for Decades

Appearing today before the Senate Armed Services Committee to press for more funding for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen warned that the next 18 months will be “critical” if America is to have any hope of winning in Afghanistan.

Not only that, but Admiral Mullen cautioned that “the outcome of today’s conflicts will shape the global security environment for decades to come.” Though the comment was meant to increase support for the funding, it will likely raise further concerns since the last eight plus years of the war have left the situation ever worsening.

The budget request, as Admiral Mullen sought, included $159 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as another $30 billion for undefined overseas “contingency” operations. Mullen says Afghanistan is the war that “needs fighting the most right now.”

Though some Democrats have expressed reticence about approving the massive amount, it is widely expected that a combination of Republicans and hawkish Democrats will allow the funding to pass through easily.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.