Washington, Nov.9 : A terrorism expert has said that the Bush Administration has begun a classified review of its policy in Afghanistan, where the situation is said to be quite grim.
According to Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert with CNN, the review has been on since September 20 and is being monitored by Lt. General Douglas E Lute, a senior National Security Council official, who is responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq.
Though no definitive conclusions have been reached by representatives of the 24 government agencies involved on matters pertaining to Afghanistan, they are in unanimous agreement that a "dire situation" in that country exists, reports the Daily Times.
According to Bergen, violence in Afghanistan is up 543 percent in the last five years; drug cultivation is up 100 percent since 2003, and that fact that Afghan support for international forces is down by 33 percent in the past few months.
The review also is likely to conclude that the United States does not have sufficient forces for an Iraq-style "surge" in Afghanistan. The review's initial assessment suggests that the largest number of additional forces that could be mustered there in the next few months is several thousand.
According to a US official familiar with troop deployments, even if Obama pulled substantial numbers of American soldiers out of Iraq the day he comes into office, and redeployed them immediately to Afghanistan, they wouldn't arrive there until June or July 2009 because of the complicated logistics of redeploying.