The US military is not winning the war in Afghanistan and is "running out of time" for a workable strategy to combat the insurgency there, the Pentagon’s uniformed leader said today.
"I’m not convinced we are winning it in Afghanistan. I am convinced we can," navy admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told Congress the first sentence not present in his prepared testimony.
The admission was a bleak reminder of the increasingly unstable and violent situation in Afghanistan seven years after western troops first toppled the Taliban. Analysts admit that al-Qaida and other militant groups are freely operating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Despite what Mullen called the "desire" of Nato commander David McKiernan for three more army brigades of soldiers in Afghanistan, George Bush said yesterday he would send one extra brigade and one new battalion of US marines…
"Afghanistan doesn’t just need more ‘boots on the ground’," Mullen said. "It needs more trucks on those roads, more teachers in those schools, and more trained judges and lawyers in those courts."