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American Legion: Give military the tools to win Afghanistan

Thursday, September 24, 2009

American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill is urging President Obama to give commanders the troops needed to win the war in Afghanistan.

“According to The Washington Post, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander, is warning us that, without more forces within the next year, the mission in Afghanistan ‘will likely result in failure,’” Hill said. “Considering that Afghanistan was the breeding ground for the 9/11 attacks, we cannot allow that to happen. We have seen a successful troop surge and counterinsurgency strategy work in Iraq. We owe it to our men and women who are serving in Afghanistan to do the same there. We must give them the tools they need to succeed.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert Gates will not consider escalating the military mission in Afghanistan until President Obama and his national security team “are ready to consider it.”

Hill said he is troubled that civilian officials in Washington appear reluctant to grant McChrystal’s request, which could ask for as many as 40,000 additional troops.

“More than 800 brave American heroes have died in Afghanistan so far,” Hill said. “They died replacing and then protecting us from an evil regime that harbored terrorists. We must not try to ‘fight a war on the cheap’ and let our losses be for naught. Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Mike Mullen both support Gen. McChrystal’s report.”

Hill’s position is shared by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said in Fortune magazine, “It’s that simple. If you want another terrorist attack in the U.S., abandon Afghanistan.”

On Aug. 25, Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the war cannot be won from the Pentagon. Addressing The American Legion’s 91st National Convention, Mullen said, “You have to be there. You have to see and hear firsthand what the issues are. You can’t hope to see problems through someone else’s eyes if you aren’t looking into those eyes.”

Gen. McChrystal’s report


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