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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Operation in Kandahar in summer to be like arising tide: Gen McChrystal

KABUL, Mar 09: US Army General McChrystal has said operations in Kandahar , the strong hold of Taliban, will be different from those in Marja and will be more like a rising tide than a D-Day invasion and will reach its zenith in summer.

McChrystal said some 30,000 coalition troops already are in and around the city but more are needed.

“Many people talk about Kandahar ,” McChrystal said. “We are absolutely going to secure Kandahar . We are already doing a lot of operations in Kandahar , but it is our intent under Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s direction to make an even greater effort there.”

“ Kandahar has not been under Taliban control; it’s been under a menacing Taliban presence, particularly in the districts around it,” McChrystal said. “We have put additional forces in the districts, and we will reinforce that over time.” The general added that he anticipates a lot of “political shaping” of Kandahar in advance of any offensive in the city.

The military part of the operation in Marja is not over, but the high-profile part of security operations is, the general said. Following the strategy of “clear, hold, build and transfer,” the clear portion of the operation will continue for months, he said. “But we have essentially gotten control of the area now, and we have begun moving into the next phase – the hold and build,” McChrystal said.

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