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September 07, 2008
JUST TALKED TO MICHAEL YON on the satphone from Afghanistan. He reports that the big picture remains poor, but reports some big tactical successes, including a successful turbine delivery of to the Kajaki Dam hydroelectric facility. He's posted a big report on the operation, which was the biggest of the war.
He's with British troops now, and his comment is: "These guys are studs. All they do is work out and fight." He says troop morale generally in Afghanistan is really good, partly because there's more public support for that war, but that the overall situation is "not great" and "clearly deteriorating." He adds that "we're not losing," but that we're not making progress either. "I'll tell you Glenn, we really need more troops here." With what he describes as a "meltdown" going on in Pakistan, he says that Afghanistan needs a lot more troops -- like 50,000 or more. Part of the problem, he adds, is that many of the Coalition troops, like the Germans, aren't really allowed to fight, making the effective number of available troops lower than it seems.
Meanwhile, remember that Michael is supported by reader donations. With people focused on the election it's worth remembering that he's still out there covering this stuff. I've donated.