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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - David Rodriguez
When Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford took command of the war in Afghanistan on Feb. 10, he succeeded a line of hard-luck officers who had succumbed to scandal or felt the White House's sting over requests for more troops.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday dispelled rumors that the chief of U.S. Africa Command is being replaced because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Uncle Sam may still want you. But maybe not.
They are questions already being debated: Did the soldier suspected of killing Afghan villagers have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD? And did the people who sent him back to war after he was injured properly determine he was mentally fit to return?
Insurgent attacks are down in some heavily populated areas of Afghanistan where U.S.-led coalition troops have been concentrated, but violence continues in rural areas, an outgoing American commander said Monday.
The U.S. has compiled a wide body of intelligence on the locations of militant training camps in Pakistan, but has been unable to persuade Islamabad to shut them down, current and former officials say.
The outgoing deputy commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Wednesday that the planned pullout of U.S. troops poses a minimal risk to gains against Taliban insurgents, as violence in the country has increased.
The second-ranking U.S. general in Afghanistan said Monday it was too early to tell if the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan will have an impact on the Afghan war effort.
After two days of visiting some of the most hotly contested areas of Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday he sees reasons to believe the war strategy is working.
Afghanistan's president on Sunday rejected a U.S. apology for the mistaken killing of nine Afghan boys in a NATO air attack and said civilian casualties are no longer acceptable.
The Afghanistan war can be won without Pakistan's army moving against militants in North Waziristan, the No. 2 American general for the war effort said Tuesday. The comment by Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez publicly signaled that the United States is resigned to the idea that Islamabad will not take on that terrorist haven militarily.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he saw and heard evidence that the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy is taking hold in critical Kandahar province.
Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, called Saturday for unity in the civilian and military effort to turn back the Taliban, saying, "In this important endeavor, cooperation is not optional."
Al Qaeda is taking a greater role in coordinating the Taliban and other Islamist militant groups operating in Afghanistan's volatile border region with Pakistan, a top U.S. commander said yesterday.
"This is going to be hard," said Gen. David Rodriguez, head of U.S. Army Forces Command. "This is tough business. As we increase things like re-enlistment standards, some of the people who were able to re-enlist three years ago won't be able to re-enlist again."
The Army, he said, "can build a young soldier quickly, but we can't build a major and a sergeant quickly. So we have to figure out the right ratios as we move forward, and we have to be able to expand if we need to."