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The frank and mostly gloomy assessment by U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal is still officially secret, but the Washington Post published an unclassified version Monday, which it says has only a few deletions requested by the government.
"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," McChrystal wrote in a five-page Commander's Summary that was unveiled late Sunday by the Washington Post. His 66-page report, which was also made public by the Post in a partly classified version after appeals from Pentagon officials, was sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Aug. 30 and is now under review at the White House.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense does not believe that Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal or his staff was behind the leak of a classified assessment yesterday that outlined the general's call for more troops, according to the top Pentagon spokesman.
The disclosure of details in the assessment, reported Sunday night by The Washington Post, coincided with new skepticism expressed by President Obama about sending any more troops into Afghanistan until he was certain that the strategy was clear.
He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan".
When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No."
He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support."
The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House.
Mr. Obama faces a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, growing opposition to the war at home from Democrats and a desire to put off any major troop decision while he still needs much political capital to pass major health care legislation in Congress.
Aides said it should take weeks, not months, to make a decision. “The president’s been very clear in our discussion that he’s open-minded and he’s not going to be swayed by political correctness one way or the other,” Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, said in an interview.
Pelosi wants House to pass healthcare bill ‘within weeks’