McCain says more troops needed in Afghanistan

Washington Times:


"There's a little bit of incrementalism in that, that could make the decision tougher this fall when the situation is tougher," said Mr. McCain, whose steadfast support of the surge of troops in Iraq was proven right. Mr. Obama opposed the tactic in Iraq.

Mr. McCain said he would send three additional brigades, or around 40,000 additional troops, and suggested a 250,000-person Afghan army instead of the 134,000-strong army the administration aims for.

The Republican said while he appreciates allies who are helping with the effort, some allies have "almost laughable" restrictions on where they will operate. For example, German troops won't go south in the region, he said.

"It's American leadership, it's going to be American military effectiveness working with Afghans that win or lose," he said.

Mr. McCain also criticized the new administration's approach on Pakistan, saying the nuclear power nation deserves a separate plan instead of the merged regional plan Mr. Obama presented, with a goal of rooting out the Taliban and purging al Qaeda.


He said the top priority must be securing the environment for the Afghan people, noting that because an insurgent can only walk 12 miles per night, platoons could set up between towns and not in every town.

That last paragraph is an interesting observation on the limited mobility of the enemy in Afghanistan. As I often point out you need an adequate force to space ratio to intercept the enemy's movement to contact. This limited mobility should be a factor in deciding how many troops are needed and McCain is much closer to the mark than Obama is.


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