World News Brief, Tuesday September 22

McChrystal Afghanistan report released: 'more troops or we'll lose'; Islamic militants arrested in Philippines; CIA begin 'intelligence surge' in Afghanistan; Gordon Brown to meet Gaddafi as arms sales soar; and more

Top of the Agenda: McChrystal Report Made Public

Gen. Stanley McChrystal's review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, submitted to U.S. President Barack Obama on August 30, said failure to reverse course (NYT) in the coming year could lead to a situation where "defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

The Washington Post has published the confidential report, which Obama and his national security advisers have been reviewing. In the review, McChrystal calls for more troops in Afghanistan, and warns that without the level of manpower needed, the U.S. military effort there will end in defeat. Though McChrystal has not yet requested a specific number of additional troops, Pentagon and military officials say he is expected to propose various options, from an increase of ten thousand to 45,000, according to the New York Times.

In several interviews on Sunday, Obama said he will not send more troops to Afghanistan before ensuring that the U.S. strategy there is effective. "I don't want to put the resource question before the strategy question," Obama said on CNN's State of the Union.


On Foreign Policy, Small Wars Journal's Robert Haddick says Obama likely believes U.S. political support for the war in Afghanistan will evaporate if incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai's reelection is not considered legitimate.

CFR's Stephen Biddle discusses U.S. policy in light of his recent trip to Afghanistan as a member of McChrystal's strategic assessment group, in this Academic Conference Call.

NPR looks at obstacles facing Obama's plan to increase the number of U.S. civilian experts working in Afghanistan-including the difficulty in convincing qualified civilians to go.


McChrystal's full report is available here (PDF).


PACIFIC RIM: Japan to Aid Afghanistan

New Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said the country might boost development aid (AFP) to Afghanistan when its naval refueling mission in the region ends in January. Japan also plans to host a high-level meeting (Japan Times) in November on development and security in Afghanistan.

Philippines: Government forces clashed with members of the Abu Sayyaf militant Islamic group when troops attempted to serve arrest warrants for three Abu Sayyaf commanders. The commanders are believed to have been involved in the kidnapping (Philippine Star) of three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross last January. An Abu Sayyaf militant was killed and five Philippine soldiers were injured in the conflict.

A CFR Backgrounder profiles Abu Sayyaf.



CIA is expanding its presence in Afghanistan.
British PM Brown to meet Libyan leader Gaddafi in New York.


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on