Top U.S. commander Paints Bleak Picture in Afghanistan as Taliban is on the Offensive

August 10, 2009

(ChattahBox) — In another, ‘what’s wrong with this picture’ moment in the war on terror, the Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, according to the top American commander there. Despite the increase of thousands of US troops this year, Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that the Taliban are moving beyond their traditional strongholds in southern Afghanistan to threaten formerly stable areas in the north and west.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the commander described how militants are mounting sophisticated attacks that combine roadside bombs with ambushes by small teams of heavily armed militants, causing significant numbers of U.S. fatalities. July was already the bloodiest month of the war for American and British forces who are trying to secure the Aug. 20 presidential and provincial council elections, and Gen. McChrystal warned that record casualty figures would remain high for months to come. The resurgent Taliban are forcing the U.S. to change its strategy in the eight-year-old conflict by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas, like the volatile southern city of Kandahar, the insurgency’s spiritual home. There are now over 100,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan, as Washington has been poured in thousands of extra troops this year, swelling the U.S. troop numbers to about 62,000.  Anthony Cordesman an adviser to Gen.  McChrystal, also told the Times of London that in order to win in Afghanistan, the U.S. should add “anywhere from three to nine brigades,” representing potentially an additional 45,000 troops.


One Response to “Top U.S. commander Paints Bleak Picture in Afghanistan as Taliban is on the Offensive”

  1. Taliban Claim Deadly Car Bomb in Kabul - Designed to Intimidate Before Afghanistan Elections | ChattahBox News Blog on August 15th, 2009 7:25 am

    […] of extra troops to Afghanistan, pushing to 62,000 US troops among 100,000 western troops to tip the balance in the war that Gen. Stanley McChrystal and others in Washington admitted recently the Taliban have gained the upper hand. Share and […]

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