General Says Troop Cuts Constrain Afghan Training Mission

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Army Gen. John Campbell, commander, Operation Resolute Support U.S. Forces, testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
Army Gen. John Campbell, commander, Operation Resolute Support U.S. Forces, testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The senior American commander in Afghanistan said the ability to train and advise the still inexperienced Afghan security forces will be constrained if the U.S. troop level is cut to 5,500, as President Barack Obama has proposed.

Army Gen. John F. Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday on that “very little” training will be done with fewer American forces.

Campbell sparred with the committee chairman, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, over the wisdom of the troop reductions.

McCain wanted to know whether the 5,500 U.S. troops are adequate to perform the training mission as well as counterterrorism operations.

Campbell said much will depend on how quickly the Afghan forces improve.

Campbell said he’s preparing to go down to 5,500 “as I am ordered.”