Violence Spike Puts Pressure on Afghan Strategy

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A spike in Afghan violence over the weekend is adding pressure on President Barack Obama to act quickly on the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Nine American soldiers were killed in the violence, now Gen. Stanley McCrystal, top commander in Afghanistan, is asking for 40,000 additional U.S. troops to turn back the Taliban and accomplish the mission.

Without the extra forces, he says the U.S. would most certainly lose the war.

"We don't have enough forces to do everything everywhere at once," McCrystal warned. "In short, we can't succeed by simply trying harder."

At least two top-level private meetings are expected to be held this week on the Obama administration's changing Afghanistan policy.

Click play to watch the interview with CBN News Military Reporter Chuck Holton on the situation in Afghanistan.

The White House says leaving Afghanistan is not an option that the president is considering and that Obama is thoroughly reviewing the U.S. policy in the war that is about to enter its ninth year.

"With violence levels up some 60 percent from last year, I believe that the decisions that the president will make for the next stage of the Afghanistan campaign will be among the most important of his presidency," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "So it is important that we take our time to do all we can to get this right."

Whatever decisions Obama makes, a former United Nations envoy to Afghanistan believes it's a tough road ahead until the Afghan government is wiped clean of corruption.

"In the absence of having a credible Afghan partner, it makes no sense to ramp up," said Ambassador Peter Galbraith. "On the other hand we cannot afford to pull out."

U.S. troops in Afghanistan already plan to pull back into areas with bigger populations.

A growing number of rural villages are now siding with the Taliban.

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