U.S. General: Taliban Fight Needs New Strategy

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The general in charge of the United States. and NATO war effort in Afghanistan says the situation is serious and that it's time to change strategies.

With August ending as the deadliest month for U.S. forces there, the military will now ask for more troops.

The reported deaths of two more U.S. service members, Monday, brought the August casualty total to 47--the highest number since the war against the Taliban began eight years ago.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has led the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan since June, notified Washington that a new strategy is needed for winning the war.  He is expected to ask for more manpower in a separate report.

Click play for more on the war on terror in Afghanistan with CBN News Military Reporter Chuck Holton, who's on his way to the country. 

"While there is a lot of gloom and doom going around, I think that Gen. McChrystal's assessment will be a realistic one, and set forth the challenges in front of us," said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.  "At the same time, I think we have some assets in place and some developments that hold promise."
 
The Taliban has stepped up its attacks, bombing 16 NATO fuel trucks in Pakistan Sunday-- a key supply line for troops in Afghanistan.

Defeating the Taliban is a top foreign policy priority for the Obama administration, but it isn't likely to happen without more ground forces.

That could be a tough sell to anti-war members of Congress battered by voter unhappiness over excess spending.

Meanwhile, the military is looking for ways to protect the troops from IEDs or improvised explosive devices, which cause most of the casualties.

"I am concerned about getting assets into Afghanistan to deal with the IED problem," Gates said.  "I expect that the all-terrain M-Wrap will start flowing into Afghanistan in October, and we are in the process of putting significant additional intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities there as well."

*Originally published August 31, 2009

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