Us Commander Calls For Strategy Change In Afghanistan

08.31.09 | FL News Team

(Kabul)  --  The commander of Western forces in Afghanistan is calling for a change of strategy in the eight-year-long war there.  In releasing his review of the Afghan war, Army General Stanley McChrystal said success is achievable with a revised military strategy and better cooperation between U.S. and NATO troops.

While it's likely McChrystal will request more troops be sent to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he's concerned a foreign military presence that is too large could be viewed as a hostile occupying force by Afghans.

This all comes as U.S. and NATO casualties have reached record levels in Afghanistan, putting pressure on McChrystal to turn the situation around within months.  More than 60-thousand American troops are serving there.

A senior adviser to McChrystal said the Afghan government must fight corruption and deliver services its people need.  He noted the Taliban is already running some courts and hospitals.

Meanwhile, new partial results from Afghanistan's recent presidential election show incumbent President Hamid Karzai leading his main rival by 46-percent to 33-percent with about half the votes counted.

However, an independent fraud watchdog group is investigating nearly 25-hundred election abuse allegations, many involving possible stuffing of ballot boxes by Karzai supporters.