US Commander: Taliban Winning Afghan War

McChrystal makes protecting civilians his first priority
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2009 5:15 AM CDT
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, salutes ISAF soldiers during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)
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(Newser) – The Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and the US must quickly change course, warns Stanley McChrystal, the general now commanding American forces in the country. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, McChrystal says he wants more troops in big, dangerous cities like Kandahar as part of a strategy that focuses on protecting Afghan lives over taking out militants.

Last month was the bloodiest in the eight-year war for both American and British troops. "It's a very aggressive enemy right now," said McChrystal. "We're going to do whatever we got to do to ensure that Kandahar is secure. With the arrival of the new US forces we'll have the ability to put some more combat power in the area."