Top U.S. military official sees limited increase of troops in Afghanistan

Other News Materials 10 February 2009 04:08 (UTC +04:00)

The United States won't send more than 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, even though the country is the new focus, a top military official said on Monday.

"I don't see us growing a force well beyond the 20,000 to 30, 000 for Afghanistan," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen told an audience at a town-hall style event in Fort Drum military base, N.Y., according to local media reports.

"Our focus is shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan. It's gotten worse in Afghanistan. Violence is up. The Taliban is back," he said.

However, Mullen cautioned that the U.S. military efforts in Iraq are far from end.

"We are not done" in Iraq, he noted.

Mullen also urged other U.S. government agencies to step up efforts in Afghanistan, including the State Department.

He made the remarks as the Obama administration is reviewing the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Analysts said although President Barack Obama promised a quick withdrawal from Iraq and sharpening focus on Afghanistan during his presidential campaign last year, the U.S. military has some reservations on his campaign promise, Xinhua reported.