The United States should consider drastically cutting the number of troops in Afghanistan unless the current strategy starts to show signs of progress, a new report says.
The 98-page independent task force report, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, also says the United States should invest in a long-term partnership with Pakistan, but only if Pakistan takes action against all
If the United States leaves Afghanistan prematurely,
the subsequent destabilization in the region will impose a "huge bearing" on relations between the United States and India, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the
top Republican on military matters, warned Friday.
"Afghanistan has become a major source of tension between the United States and India, for the primary reason that India does not believe we will stay until the job is done," McCain said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Two of the biggest goals for U.S. forces in Afghanistan are building up Afghan security forces and convincing Taliban members to lay down their arms. It seems some of both goals can be accomplished with some cash.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who arrived for an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday, said money is a key reason why the Afghans might be having recruiting and retention problems with its security forces.
"One of the eye openers for us was learning that the Taliban, for the most part, are better paid than the Afghan Security Forces, so that's something that we and the Afghans have already taken steps to correct," the DOD chief said. "They're raising the pay of the police and they're putting in place a number of additional incentives and bonuses and so on for the army in terms of combat pay and various things like that so that clearly will help. I think, frankly, that's the biggest obstacle."
So how much money do you get if you fight for the Taliban? FULL POST