Armed Forces International News - June 2008
War in Afghanistan "Under-Resourced", says US General
Posted by Paul Fiddian on 04/06/2008 - 11:14:03
The now-departed US general tasked with overall control of allied forces deployed in Afghanistan since early 2007 described earlier this week the conflict there as “under-resourced.”
General Dan McNeill’s comments preceded the handover of his command to his replacement, General David McKiernan.
International Security Assistance Force
As did General McNeill, General McKiernan now has control of the Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) operated in Afghanistan by NATO, which is made up of 53,000 soldiers representing 40 nations.
Despite the volume of troops serving under the Isaf banner, more forces and equipment are still required, according to General McNeill.
The handover of Isaf control occurred during a ceremony held June 2nd in Kabul, Afghanistan. Present was Hamid Karzai, the country’s president, who warned General McKiernan that the road ahead would be a difficult one.
No information has yet emerged on the possible differences in the way the new general will control his forces compared to McNeill.
However, speaking at the handover, he urged for the “mission” to carry on, “without missing a beat.”
"Insurgents, foreign fighters, criminals and others who stand in the way of that mission will be dealt with", he added.
53,000 NATO Troops
General McNeill’s Isaf control began in February last year. At that time, the force was comprised of 33,000 NATO troops. Since then, 20,000 more have been added, but still more are needed, he said.
"This is an under-resourced war and it needs more manoeuvre units, it needs more flying machines, it needs more intelligence, surveillance and recognisance apparatus", the general stated.
"I'm not just focused on the US sector, I'm talking about across the country."
McNeill added that, if the guidelines for counter-insurgency operations were adhered to, then the Afghanistan troop requirement would reach 400,000.
Some success, he said, had occurred, but, still, more attacks were taking place on troops.
Prior to taking up his new role, General McKiernan oversaw the assault in Iraq that culminated in Saddam Hussein’s dethronement.
Source – Armed Forces International’s US Correspondent
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