‘Irresponsible’ to send more troops to Afghanistan: US senator


Washington : John Kerry, an influential US senator, has cautioned President Barack Obama against raising troop levels in Afghanistan, saying it would be “entirely irresponsible” to do so while the Afghan government remains in turmoil following national elections.

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“It would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more troops to this country, when we don’t even have an election finished and (do not) know who the president is and what kind of government we’re working with,” Kerry told CNN in an interview set to air Sunday morning.

Speaking from Afghanistan, Kerry, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the US should listen to the advice of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander in that country.

“When our own, you know, commanding general tells us that a critical component of achieving our mission here is, in fact, good governance. And we’re living with a government that we know has to change. How could the president responsibly say, ‘Oh, they asked for more, sure, here they are’,” Kerry said.

Obama and his advisers have held five meetings in recent weeks to discuss US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they continue to weigh a call from Gen. McChrystal for as many as 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan.

However, complaints of voter irregularities have dogged the Afghanistan election and the US mission there. The top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, told CNN earlier this month that the vote was marred by “widespread fraud”.