McCrystal, Others Support New Afghan Strategy

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U.S. officials are sending a message of support about America's strategy in Afghanistan. 

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander in the country, testified before Congress Tuesday, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates went to Kabul.

In Kabul, there is a startling reality of just how far Afghanistan has to go before its own forces can secure the country.

During a press conference with Secretary Gates, Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted he will need America's help to fund and train security forces for years.

"Afghanistan is looking forward to taking over the responsibility in terms of paying for its forces and delivering to its forces out of its own resources, but that will not be for another 15 years," Karzai said.

Despite the costs, top U.S. officials remain committed to helping Afghanistan for the long haul.

Speaking before a congressional committee Tuesday, McChrystal said that President Obama's decision to send additional troops and resources was a signal to allies and enemies that the U.S. will not abandon Afghanistan.

"The commitment of 30,000 additional forces, along with additional coalition forces and growing Afghan national security force numbers will be a significant step toward expanding security in critical areas and demonstrating resolve," McChrystal said.

A sentiment echoed thousands of miles away in Afghanistan by the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

"United states and our many friends and allies around the globe are determined to defeat those who stand between you and a peaceful and prosperous future," Gates said.

But the harsh realities are that Afghanistan faces a perilous future. 

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, recently told troops preparing for deployment that the country faces a critical moment.

"We believe, and this is not just me alone, that we have about 18-24 months to turn this thing around, or it becomes a situation where we might not be able to do that," Mullen said.

The Obama administration is hoping the new U.S. war plan will stabilize the country and prevent it from becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.

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