Commander says many more US troop are needed soon

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The commander of international forces in Afghanistan says that in addition to the Army combat brigade that President Bush is sending as a reinforcement in January, there is a need for three additional brigades in 2009.

It had previously been known that U.S. commanders in Afghanistan saw a need for a total of three reinforcement brigades -- not four.

Gen. David McKiernan told reporters at his headquarters in the Afghan capital that Bush's decision to replace a Marine unit this fall and to send a brigade of the Army's 10th Mountain Division in January is a good start on meeting his troop requirements. But he said he also needs another three Army brigades.

That is the first time the general has made clear that such a large additional force is needed to fight the insurgency here.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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