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Former NATO, Fort Bragg commander agrees: More American troops needed in Afghanistan

Posted May 11

— With military leaders recommending that President Trump send more troops to Afghanistan, the man who first led American troops there after 9/11 said Thursday that he agrees a surge is necessary to put an end to America's longest war.

Retired Gen. Dan McNeill is very familiar with Afghanistan. He spent two tours of duty there – once as Fort Bragg's commander, putting together the coalition to fight the Taliban, and again as the NATO commander.

McNeill has always believed that more troops are need on the ground if America expects to win in Afghanistan.

"It's clear to me that the troop level that's there now is not sufficient to get that rate of progress that the American people not only want but should expect when you consider the blood and treasure we've expended there," he said.

McNeill says America has a lot at stake when it comes to Afghanistan. He says there has been a resurgence of the Taliban, and the country is once again becoming a training ground for terrorists who want to come to America.

"It's deal with it there or deal with it on Main Street," he said.

Afghanistan is about the size of an area that would stretch from about Maine to Louisiana, and there are a number of conditions, including the mountainous terrain, that make it a tough place to fight, all of them familiar to McNeill.

"You have high desert. You have low desert. You have bitterly cold winters in some areas. You have unbearably hot summers in yet other areas," he said.

Trump recently dropped a huge bomb on a Taliban stronghold. If he decides to send more troops, McNeill expects they will come from all branches of the armed forces, with a significant contribution from Fort Bragg.

"I would expect that the Army would carry the lion's share of that, and I would expect that, of that lion's share, quite a bit of that will come from Fort Bragg," he said.

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  • Victor Cruz-Saez May 11, 7:04 p.m.
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    For those of us old enough to remember, didn't General Westmoreland say something like that? Over 15 years and we still have not gained victory.