Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, declares that in this year and 2010, with many more American troops on the ground in Afghanistan, the tide must turn—after three straight years of rising insurgent violence. “We’ve had an increasing level of violence in the last three years in ’06, ’07, and ’08,” he said, “and I think in ’09 and ’10, we have to start to turn that around.” Mullen’s statement comes at the same time as reports that Washington will be pressing its allies—including Canada—to ramp up contributions to Afghanistan and maintain commitments. That could me renewed pressure on Ottawa’s to rethink its plan to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan in 2011.
Top general says U.S. must beat back rising Afghan violence
U.S. also wants Canada to stay past 2011