US troops have two years to turn tides in Afghanistan: Mullen

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London, Dec. 8 (ANI): US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told marines, who will deployed in Afghanistan by year-end, that they have just two years to turn the tides in the war-torn country.

Mullen's message was part of his pep talk to marines at Camp Lejeune Monday, who were also asked to learn Afghanistan's culture before their December deployment.

"Learn a little bit about their culture, try to speak their language. You don't have to speak it perfectly, they don't even mind if you butcher it, quite frankly, but they do appreciate the fact that you take the time to learn a little bit about them," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Mullen, as saying.

Driving home the fundamental tenet of McChrystal's new strategy, Mullen told Marines, that in the end, it's not about killing the Taliban; it is about protecting the population.

Mullen said an effective strategy in South Asia will prevent his "worst nightmare" from coming true: terrorists getting a hold of nuclear weapons.

"If it goes well, it will serve us exceptionally well, and if it goes badly, it is that nightmare that I talked about before," he said.

Pentagon announced on Monday that the first of the 30,000 troops to deploy under President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan will leave in the next few weeks, and US forces will begin to come back after 18 months.

The first 16,000 troops will deploy between now and this spring. (ANI)

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