McChrystal is studying new policy for Aghanistan - more troops
General Stanley McChrystal took over command of ISAF in Afghanistan last month. He was appointed by the Obama Administration in the hope of advancing the war in Afghanistan.
His first order was to change the Rules of Engagment, which were intended to minimize civilian casualties. This policy basically prohibits firing at the enemy, even when they are escaping, when civilians could be targeted.
Recently Operation Kanjar (Strike of the Sword) was launched in Hellmand Province, in South Eastern Afghanistan. This operation is intended to place troops into towns and interact with the local populace. This type of operation takes up a lot of troops and resources.
The eventual aim would be to have the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) work in cooperation with U.S troops and take control of these towns and provide security. Operation Kanjar only provided 650 ANA troops.
Unnamed sources, on General McChrystal's planning staff, believe that he is leaning towards asking more troops. This, of course, is being discouraged by General Jones the National Security Advisor and the Administration.
The new strategy would see an increase in training of the ANA and joint operations. McChrystal believes that only living with the local populace will provide information on IEDs, car bombs and suicide bombers. These devices are the major cause of casualties for NATO troops.
General McChrystal is expected to review the recommendations of his planning staff and may ask for more troops in the near future.
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who took charge of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan last month, appears inclined to request an increase in American troops to implement the new strategy, which aims to use more unconventional methods to combat the growing Taliban insurgency, according to members of an advisory group he convened to work on the assessment. Such a request could receive a chilly reception at the White House, where some members of President Obama's national security team have expressed reluctance about authorizing any more deployments.
Senior military officials said McChrystal is waiting for a recommendation from a team of military planners in Kabul before reaching a final decision on a troop request. Several members of the advisory group, who spoke about the issue of force levels on the condition of anonymity, said that they think more U.S. troops are needed but that it was not clear how large an increase McChrystal would seek.