Afghanistan address clear, McChrystal says

Dec. 2, 2009 at 2:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- More troops mean a faster transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces, said Gen. Stan McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"The clarity, capability, and commitment outlined in President Obama's address are critical steps toward eliminating an insurgency in Afghanistan and terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security," McChrystal said in a message to the troops posted Wednesday. "I believe our renewed Coalition campaign is fortified by the path President Obama has put forward."

Obama announced Tuesday the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer as part of a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The coalition mission remains that of working toward transferring security responsibilities to Afghan security forces as quickly as safely possible, McChrystal said.

"They need our help -- and we are here for them, for their future, and for the safety and security of coalition nations," he said.

Noting many challenges remain, McChrystal said the mission now "has (a) renewed purpose sustained by one unassailable reality: Neither the international community nor the Afghan people want this country to remain a sanctuary for terror and violence. The price to be paid in this conflict is high. But the stakes are higher."

Obama's decision to add more troops "is a clear reflection not only of his intended strategy, but of his confidence in the success we can achieve," McChrystal said, "success earned by the competence and courage you display every day in Afghanistan."

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