RealNews

Gloomy Assessment by Afghan Defense Minister

The Afghan Army cannot secure the country without at least 150,000 troops — five times what it has — the defense minister said Wednesday. The minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, said that a plan to increase the army to 70,000 troops from 27,000 was inadequate, and that the American-led coalition should divert funds from its own operations to strengthen Afghan forces. Mr. Wardak said a 70,000-member army could not end a surge of Taliban-led violence like the one that flared recently, or protect the country from outside threats. Full Story

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