Levin heaps praise on McChrystal review

Sept. 22, 2009 at 4:36 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. mission in Afghanistan requires a viable and effective strategy that is adequately resourced with U.S. and Afghan troops, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin said.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander in Afghanistan, in an assessment on the war leaked by The Washington Post said there was an "urgent" need for a new strategy that relies on both an increase in the number of coalition forces as well as improvements in the capacity of Afghan troops.

Levin, D-Mich., in a response to the McChrystal assessment said he agreed with the general on several measures, including the increase in the number of troops.

In his speech to the Senate on Sept. 11, Levin stressed that more Afghan troops were needed in order to achieve the goal in Afghanistan "before we consider whether to increase U.S. combat forces above the levels already planned for the next few months."

In his latest comments, Levin restated his emphasis on Afghan forces and gave credit to McChrystal for his effort to link resources with an effective strategy in Afghanistan.

"Gen. McChrystal is attempting to shift our focus toward adopting a revised strategy that will increase the prospects for success of our efforts in Afghanistan," he said. "Focusing on the resource question before we accomplish the strategic shift is a mistake Gen. McChrystal is wisely avoiding."

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