Zinni: Afghan decisions must be made soon

Oct. 4, 2009 at 2:13 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The deliberations over whether to send up to 40,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan need to be wrapped up soon, a retired senior military officer says.

Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, the former head of CENTCOM, whose responsibilities included Afghanistan, said Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation" that continuing delays over whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan could hurt U.S. efforts there.

Zinni said that while it's important to assess all of the United States' strategic options, "I think we have to be careful how long this goes on. It could be seen not only out there in the region but our allies, even (by) the enemy, as being indecisive, unable to make a decision."

The current U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has suggested that up to 40,000 more troops may be needed, but White House officials say President Barack Obama has set no deadlines on making a decision.

"We have a general out there who is probably the best qualified we could have that's telling us what we need on the ground to have the security space and the time to get those non-military things done," Zinni told CBS. "I just don't understand why we're questioning that judgment at this point."

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