Saturday, February 28, 2009

Afghanistan War News Updates -- February 28, 2009

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Donald Cullison holds a cup of tea in one had while his other hand rests near his M-4 rifle during a meeting with local government officials, Gardez City, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2009. The cup of tea and the rifle symbolize the balance coalition forces face as they promote both security and goodwill. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

A Taliban Surge in Afghanistan? -- DoD Buzz

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week on Afghanistan and Pakistan, retired Lt. Gen. David Barno was asked if he thought Obama’s decision to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer was a good move. Barno, who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan during 2004 when things there looked much better, said that while it would be nice to know the administration’s strategy first, it was vital to get more troops into southern Afghanistan where the U.S. and NATO are currently on their heels.

Barno said Obama would eventually have to send a “substantially” larger force. Going forward, he saw U.S. strategy in Afghanistan unfolding in a variation of the now familiar “clear, hold and build” counterinsurgency approach. He termed it “stabilize, protect, build, transition”: 2009 would be a stabilize phase, a holding action to ensure Afghan national elections go off without too much trouble; 2010 would see, once more troops arrive, a counter-offensive against the Taliban and other insurgents; followed by a build phase from 2010 to 2015; and then an eventual transition to Afghan control.

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More News On Afghanistan

Up to 15,000 Taliban in Afghanistan - minister -- Herald Sun
More than 10,000 Taliban insurgents operating in Afghanistan: official -- China View
Obama pledges no long-term Afghan designs -- AFP
Obama says no long term stay in Afghanistan -- NDTV
Obama says U.S. not interested in long-term presence in Afghanistan -- China View
Facing Language Gaps and ‘Flying Trucks,’ US Trains Afghan Pilots -- New York Times
Afghanistan operations not vulnerable to supply line dangers -- Air Force Link
Hope is Victory in Afghanistan, PRT Commander Says -- AFPS
New US Marine officers have Afghan war on their minds -- AFP
Washington Guard soldiers find Afghanistan duty full of frustration -- Seattle Times
New Roads to Open Up Eastern Afghanistan Province -- AFPS
Reports that Afghan Mosque Hit Spark Riot -- Washington Times/Associated Press
Afghanistan Urges More Support in Talks With U.S. and Pakistan -- Bloomberg
U.S. looks to China for support on Afghanistan: Pentagon -- Reuters
Rudd and Obama to go face-to-face on Afghanistan -- Sydney Morning Herald
Afghanistan still largest opium poppy producer: US -- AFP
US military deaths in Afghanistan region at 588 -- AP

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