Franks: U.S. must identify Afghan goal

Oct. 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Retired U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks says the United States needs a clear long-term goal for its mission in Afghanistan.

Franks, who was in charge of the initial invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, told an audience Monday in Fort Worth, Texas, that the real question facing President Barack Obama isn't how many additional troops to send to Afghanistan, but what they're fighting for.

"We don't need the president to decide whether to send 40,000 more people or 60,000 more people," Franks said. "What we need is for the president to define the desired end-state for Afghanistan. We need to have a national objective. What do you want?"

Franks, speaking to a crowd attracted by conservative Dallas radio talk-show host Mike Gallagher, gave no indication of what he personally believes is the right course in Afghanistan, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

"On the day that our president identifies the objective, the strategy, for Afghanistan, he'll be identifying what it takes to win," Franks said. "At the same time, he'll be identifying what it takes to lose, which is anything less than a win. That's a pretty heavy rock to carry on your shoulder."

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