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US general warns of Afghan 'failure' without more troops: reports

world Updated: Sep 21, 2009 12:33 IST

The top military commander in Afghanistan warns in a classified document that more forces are needed within the next year or the mission "will likely result in failure," US media reported on Monday.

General Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in the country, writes in a grim assessment of the eight-year conflict: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

The document, reported in the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers, was presented to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on August 30 and is currently being reviewed by the White House.

In the most alarming passage of the report, McChrystal writes: "[I]nadequate resources will likely result in failure."

Failure to provide adequate resources, he writes, "also risks a longer conflict, greater casualties, higher overall costs, and ultimately, a critical loss of political support. Any of these risks, in turn, are likely to result in mission failure."