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Senator Carl Levin: pleased at the speed of Afghan Army recruiting

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Michael Bonfigli/Special to The Christian Science Monitor/File

(Read caption) Sen. Carl Levin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, talks with reporters at a Monitor breakfast about his recent trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Carl Levin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has just returned from a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. At a Monitor breakfast with reporters today, he said that progress is being made in turning more of the war effort over to the Afghans.

Sen. Levin did not support the surge of additional US combat forces to Afghanistan, believing instead that America should send “trainers, partners, and mentors” to strengthen the Afghan Army.

Why? The Army is “respected” by the Afghan people, he explained, and when the Afghans themselves lead the fight, they negate the Taliban message of US-as-occupier.

The unstated implication: The faster the Afghans stand up their own forces, the faster American troops come home.

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