McChrystal lauds Afghan political solution

Jan. 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. military officials said they feel the counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan will convince the Taliban to embrace political solutions.

U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a revised war strategy for Afghanistan in December that couples a civilian effort to rebuild state institutions with a military campaign to take on Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander in Afghanistan, told The Financial Times that the time for fighting was over.

"As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there's been enough fighting," he said. "What I think we do is try to shape conditions which allow people to come to a truly equitable solution to how the Afghan people are governed."

His comments are in stark contrast to growing frustration with the conflict in Afghanistan, now marching toward the nine-year mark. McChrystal, however, told the Times he saw "very demonstrably positive" progress ahead with Afghanistan expecting the arrival of 30,000 additional U.S. troops.

McChrystal said a London conference on Afghanistan scheduled for Thursday was an opportunity for the international community to come together to find a political solution that works for the Afghan government and its people.

"I'd like everybody to walk out of London with a renewed commitment, and that commitment is to the right outcome for the Afghan people," he said.

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