Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan, as White House Debates Sending More

The president's advisers say troops are only one part of success in Afghanistan.

ByABC News
October 4, 2009, 8:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2009— -- Eight American troops were killed this weekend in the deadliest assault against U.S. troops in Afghanistan in more than a year, placing growing pressure on an administration deliberating its strategy there amidst waning public support.

After the president's top military commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, recommended in a classified report sending additional troops, and then spoke publicly against withdrawing troops last week in London, the White House downplayed the notion that there was any rift between the commander and the president.

"Ideally, it's better for military advice to come up through the chain of command," national security adviser Gen. Jim Jones said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

McChrystal wrote in his report that additional troops were needed within the next year, or the U.S. effort would "likely result in failure."

But Jones said today that the number of troops is just one of the many factors in the current strategy that are important to success in Afghanistan.

"The end is much more complex than just about adding X number of troops," Jones said on CNN. "The key in Afghanistan, as we said back in March, is to have a triad of things happen simultaneously. Security is obviously one reason, one important thing to take care of, but the other two are economic development and good governance in the rule of law and on that score, we have a lot more work to do and a Karzai government is going to have to pitch in and do much better than they have."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said McChrystal's military assessment was only one of many different the president has to consider.