Obama Admin., Generals at Odds on Afghanistan

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On the eve of 8th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, some worry that the U.S. may be at risk of losing the war. Now, the Obama administration has some tough decisions to make.

The White House was furious with America's commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, when he went public in a London speech that the U.S. needs more troops in the country to win.

"We must focus our efforts and prioritize in those areas where the population is most threatened," he said Oct. 1. "We don't have enough forces to everything, everywhere at once...In short, we can't succeed by simply trying harder."

CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody has more on the pressure the Obama administration is facing to change its strategy in Afghanistan.  Click play for his comments.

The next day, McChrystal was summoned to a 25-minute face-to-face meeting on Air Force One with the president, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates diplomatically conveyed to the military the White House sentiment that America's generals need to be more careful.

"In this process it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations-- civilian and military alike-- provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately," Gates urged.

The general over Iraq and Afghanistan, David Petraeus, has largely disappeared from the debate. He's being treated for prostate cancer, but reports suggest the bigger reason is that talk of his running for president has made the White House view him with as a potential political rival.

The administration is debating whether to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, or scale back the mission and focus on striking al Qaeda cells-- an idea pushed by Vice President Joe Biden. There will be at least two top-level meetings on the war this week.

"The assessment that's being discussed does not envision more troops in outposts or places like the one that was attacked over the weekend," said Press Secretary Robert Gates.

Eight years after the U.S. military arrived in Afghanistan, insurgent attacks are as brazen as ever. Over the weekend, nine U.S. soldiers were killed and five were seriously injured, marking the worst one day U.S. loss in more than a year.

No matter what decisions the president makes, a former United Nations envoy to Afghanistan says there is little hope until the Afghan government is wiped clean of corruption.

"In absence of having a credible Afghan partner accepted by people, it makes no sense to ramp up, but on other hand [we] cannot afford to pull out," said Ambassador Peter Galbraith.

Galbraith was fired by the UN for his remarks. He says the group is covering up electoral fraud in Afghanistan.

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.