Hearts and Minds

More Troops to Afghanistan?

The general in charge of turning around the war in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, is expected to ask for more troops when he delivers his report on the region in two weeks. The White House will most likely resist the move, the Associated Press reports, after already agreeing to boost troop levels by 21,000 earlier this year. McChrystal will recommend a "cultural shift" in how U.S. troops operate, urging troops to focus more on protecting the civilian population than going after the Taliban. A new report says 310 civilians have been killed by U.S. and Coalition forces so far this year. McChrystal wants to scale back certain troop customs, such as blocking narrow roads with convoys while Afghans have to take to the ditches, in order to improve relations with the Afghan people. Almost 70,000 U.S. troops will be in Afghanistan by the end of the year.