US needs more troops in Afghanistan to deal with Pakistan
While US President Barack Obama is in London for the G20 talks and to discuss the economic downturn, US military leaders have been asking Congress for more troops and money to continue their operations in Afghanistan.
Washington continues to reevaluate its approach to war in Afghanistan, so Americans should expect more fighting and casualties this summer in Afghanistan.
Top military commander General David Petraeus admitted this himself in a hearing on Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
“This is going to get harder before it gets easier. That is correct. That is our assessment, but it is worth seeing it through to conclusion,” Petraeus said.
General Petraeus also told senators that this war is no longer just about Afghanistan.
He thinks that Pakistan now is going to be a really big issue, and it is becoming increasingly dangerous.
He also said that the Al-Qaeda leadership may be harbored there. He noted that the US will have to carry out a lot more communication and cooperation, and put a lot more work into the Pakistan issue, as the war seems to be spreading more and more.
Still, the man in charge of the military budget seemed upbeat.
“I think the effort in Afghanistan is very important and that the new strategy has broad support inside of Afghanistan, inside of Pakistan, that their leaders have supported the new strategy as stated by the US President. And I think the American people supported to understand that this area was the source of the 9/11 attacks on us,” Senator Carl Levin. Chairman of the Armed Services Committee
General Petraeus thinks Afghans need to build up their own security forces before America can get out.
Obama has listened to Petraeus and will send 4,000 people to do the training, because the US doesn’t want to leave the country until local forces are really capable of handling the situation on their own.
He also left it to General Petraeus to break the bad news to those who would approve the spending. 10,000 more troops will be requested next year, as another element has emerged.
While President Obama is away at the G20 summit, Washington continues to question the new strategy in Afghanistan. The difference is that now generals are saying that Pakistan is going to play an increasingly important role in this war.
In addition, Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsoud has threatened to attack Washington DC. While officials assured people that they are safe, this scare still made headlines.
Now the military says Pakistan’s cooperation is essential, but Pakistan is a nation with a nuclear capability and a population of 167 million people which won’t be easy for the US to pressure.
Obama will have a tough job at the upcoming NATO summit trying to bring an end to this war, and America will need certainly the help of its allies.