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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:58 PM
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Pentagon plays down fears over Afghan violence
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 07:11 PM by maddezmom
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Wednesday sought to play down the seriousness of growing violence in Afghanistan but declined to say the United States and NATO were winning their fight against Taliban insurgents.

On a day when President George W. Bush visited the Pentagon to discuss Iraq and Afghanistan with top officials, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said decisions on more troops for Afghanistan may have to be left to Bush's successor.

"It is a mixed picture in Afghanistan," Morrell told reporters, blaming a recent upswing in violence in the east of the country on a rise in the flow of foreign fighters from militant bases in Pakistan.

In one sign of the growing insurgency, militants killed nine U.S. soldiers in eastern Afghanistan earlier this month -- the deadliest attack on U.S. troops in the country since 2005.

But Morrell cast media reports of Afghan violence as "overwriting" that gave the false impression that "the sky is falling."



Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080723/pl_nm/afghan_usa_pe... ;_



Afghanistan troop increase up to next president: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon is unable to send additional combat brigades to Afghanistan this year because of constraints imposed by the war in Iraq, leaving the decision on reinforcements to the next president, a spokesman said Wednesday.

US commanders in Afghanistan have requested three more combat brigades, or about 10,000 troops, to deal with growing insurgent violence in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

But Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said Iraq remains the top priority for the Bush administration, which places limits on the forces available for duty in Afghanistan over the short term.

"It looks as though this government is going to work to provide additional forces for Afghanistan next year," Morrell said. "How many, whether it is the three additional brigades that the commanders want I think is a question for the next administration."

more:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080723/wl_sthasia_afp/usa... ;_ylt=AkJzftgFOeuThB766ozInWkBxg8F
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