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Updated: September 1, 2009 17:26 IST

Afghan war is winnable: NATO commander

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In a June 2, 2009 photo Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In a June 2, 2009 photo Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley A. McChrystal, has said that the situation in Afghanistan is quite serious, but the war is winnable.

General McChrystal, who took over the command of the NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan a couple of months ago on Monday said this in his report on his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan.

The report has been submitted to both NATO and U.S. leaders.

“Based on some initial reporting that I’ve seen of General McChrystal’s report, he says the situation is quite serious but the war is indeed winnable,” the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters at a news conference.

Moving through the chain of command in the Pentagon and the Defence Secretary, the report would soon reach the White House, he said.

“What the President is going to want to do is review the report and then discuss and talk with all of those that have equities in it to get their viewpoints and to ensure that each and every person is heard on this, and that’s what the President intends to do,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Earlier the Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, said he believes the assessment will point to the challenges before foreign and Afghan troops.

“I think it will also point to areas where we can do better and can make improvements in our strategy and tactics,” he said. “There is no question that we have a tough fight ahead of us in Afghanistan, and a lot of challenges,” he added.

At a Pentagon news conference, the Defence Department spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said McChrystal’s report is a confidential military assessment and there is no plan to release it publicly. The assessment does not have specific requests for more forces or more funding, he said.

“We have been very explicit that General McChrystal be forthright in telling us what he needs in order to accomplish the mission that he has been given,” Mr. Gates said. “We will look at his assessment and then we will look at his resource recommendations.”

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