Commander Submits New Afghanistan Assessment

Amid growing casualties, Gen. McChrystal reviews U.S. role in Afghanistan war.

ByABC News
August 31, 2009, 2:49 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 31, 2009— -- The new commander of international troops in Afghanistan delivered a sweeping review of how the United States fights the war today, emphasizing a shift from fighting the Taliban to protecting the population, rooting out corruption, nearly doubling Afghan security forces and transforming how those Afghan forces are trained.

Though not included in today's assessment, General Stanley McChrystal is soon expected to ask for thousands of more troops to fight an enemy he recently told ABC News could challenge Afghanistan's sovereignty.

The report arrived at U.S. Central Command and NATO as four more troops, including two Americans, were killed today, closing out what was already the deadliest month in the war's history.

Since a surge of U.S. Marines and soldiers began fighting in early July, at least 150 international troops have died -- nearly the same number killed in the first 27 months of the war, according to

The assessment comes at a time when U.S. officials fear much of the country is slipping out of control. The Taliban have made new inroads in the north, now virtually control Kandahar City, and reports of widespread fraud and low turnout could rob an election designed to create positive momentum of its legitimacy.

The review, which is titled an "initial assessment," does not request additional troops, but its recommendations "clearly indicate that additional troops will be needed," according to a civilian advisor to McChrystal.

"Clearly the insurgency is serious right now. It has spread geographically, it has spread in intensity in certain areas, and its ability to coerce or control parts of the population has increased," McChrystal told ABC News earlier this month.

Today, in a statement released by U.S. forces in Kabul, he said the "situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort."