With President Obama committed to nearly doubling the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, promising to draw down as the Afghan security force stands up, its hard not to get a sense that America’s transformative new leader is merely copying his discredited predecessor’s “surge” strategy used in Iraq. That Obama praised said escalation of the Iraq war as having succeeded “beyond our wildest dreams” does not allay these fears.
CUOMO: A year from today, do you think that there’s a very different situation in Afghanistan than there is today?
MULLEN: I look forward to a very active year. I want to be clear that my expectations are as we add more troops, the violence level in Iraq — or, sorry, Afghanistan — is going to go up.
That said, it’ll put us in a position to start to turn the tide and provide security for the Afghan people, which is absolutely critical, in addition to training the Afghan forces, which I expect to improve significantly over the next 12 months.