Military Chief: More Troops Needed

More troops in Afghanistan are beginning to look inevitable: Adm. Mike Mullen, who, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the nation’s top military officer, told Congress on Tuesday that victory in Afghanistan would probably require more troops and definitely require more time. “I do believe that—having heard [Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s] views and having great confidence in his leadership—a properly resourced counterinsurgency probably means more forces, and, without question, more time and more commitment to the protection of the Afghan people and to the development of good governance,” Mullen said. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, challenged Mullen’s assessment, saying that the training and equipping of Afghan security forces should take precedence over any further deployment of American troops. But John McCain said that more troops are “vitally needed.”