View Full Version : Marines unlikely to go to Afghanistan, says chief

01-23-07, 07:51 AM
Marines unlikely to go to Afghanistan, says chief

By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jan 22, 2007 20:43:38 EST

Marines are unlikely to head into Afghanistan in the near term, despite expected increases in fighting in the coming months, the Corps’ top commander said Monday, citing the ongoing troop buildup in Iraq as the reason.

“News is not so good obviously coming out of Afghanistan,” Commandant Gen. James Conway said, addressing a Marine Corps Association luncheon in Alexandria, Va. “Traditionally, the Taliban there go to the caves this time of year and, during the deep snow, contemplate their navel and think about what they’re going to do in the spring. They’re not doing that this year.”

Taliban attacks are up, he said. “The good news is, I suppose, is that the NATO forces are doing better than we anticipated, perhaps not as well in all areas, but they’re able to do peacekeeping and peacemaking, as well, where that requirement exists,” Conway said.

Attacks are expected to rise with the temperatures. “We see that Afghanistan is going to be a pretty tough fight in the spring,” he said. Military planners “want another Marine battalion there, and that’s not likely to happen because of some things that have to do with the surge that we’re seeing in Iraq.”

“There was a Marine battalion not long ago. They left a tremendous legacy. They still talk about how those guys got off the road, got into the mountains, into the passages and just kicked butt. They’d like to have that replicated again,” he said.

“There’s little probability at this point that we’re going to see that.”

Conway is scheduled to talk to Congress on Tuesday morning about the surge of troops in Iraq.