The US should know by this time next year whether the troop buildup in Afghanistan worked, Stanley McChrystal told the House Armed Services panel today, though he cautioned that there was no easy road to success. "The sober fact is that there are no silver bullets," he said. "Ultimate success will be the cumulative effect of sustained pressure." Ambassador Karl Eikenberry was also present, endorsing the plan as "the best path to stabilize Afghanistan."
Chairman Ike Skelton, a Democrat, opened the hearing by ticking off a series of questions, asking what success will look like, how it will be measured, and what risks would be involved over the next 18 months. McChrystal replied that he believed the buildup would be "absolutely successful." He also said that he doubted he'd ask for more troops, though he wouldn't hesitate to if situations changed. He said that, though he did not recommend the July 2011 exit timeline, he supports it.