Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told the House Armed Services Committee this morning he does not anticipate having to ask for more forces beyond the 30,000 additional troops President Obama recently committed to the war.
“I do not anticipate the requirement for additional forces, but I will have the responsibility to give my best military advice,” McChrystal said in response to a question from committee Ranking Member Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA).
McKeon also tried to get McChrystal to state how many extra troops he asked Obama to approve; the general would not bite. McChrystal did say he asked for forces to be deployed as quickly as possible and that 30,000 was the amount that fit.
McChrystal said he would provide the committee the exact number he asked for in a classified session. He added that he made no recommendation on a withdrawal date either. In his speech at West Point last week, Obama said the U.S. military would begin to withdraw forces starting in July 2011. In congressional testimony last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said any decision to remove troops will be contingent on how the war is going at the time.