US Army chief of staff: more troops needed in Afghanistan

Monday, November 9, 2009

File photo of General Casey

The United States' army's chief of staff, General George Casey, said today that he believes more troops are needed in Afghanistan.

In a US television interview with NBC's Meet the Press programme, Casey said he believed additional forces are needed to cut the Taliban's successes and train Afghan security forces. He did not, however, say how many more troops he thought should be sent to the war.

"I believe that we need to put additional forces into Afghanistan to give General McChrystal the ability to both dampen the successes of the Taliban while we train the Afghan civilian forces," he said.

In CNN's State of the Union programme, Casey remarked that "[t]he Army remains out of balance. But we started in 2007 with a program to get ourselves back in balance by 2011. And since 2007, we have added 40,000 soldiers to the active force, which is a significant step forward."

President Barack Obama has been deliberating for weeks whether to deploy 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, as requested by General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and NATO forces there.