Admiral Mullen-General McNeill-Who Is Right?

Admiral Mullen, who is Chief of Staff, clashed with his subordinate, General McNeill, commander of NTO forces in Afghanstan over the extent and power of the Taliban in Afghanistan. General McNeill does not believe there is any evidence of a “resurgent” Taliban while his superior has the exact opposite conclusion. According to Mullen: “In Afghanistan, we are seeing a growing insurgency, iincreasing violence, and a burgeoining drug trade fueled by widespread poppy cultivation.” General McNeill’s response was, “Admiral Mullen has his view, I’ve got mine.”

Although General McNeill doesn’t see evidence of any Taliban resurgency, some figures reveal a different perspective. The number of suicide attacks has grown from 3 in 2004 to 130 least year, the number of acts of violence has risen from 900 to 8,950 and the number of roadside bomb attacks has gone up fom 325 to 1,469.

This may well be a minor example of difference of opinion, but it again is indicative of confusion in the Bush administration over policy in Afghanistan.

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