Crux of Afghan Debate: Will More Troops Curb Terror? - Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, New York Times.
... most specialists on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, inside and outside the government, say terrorism cannot be confronted from a comfortable distance, such as by airstrikes or proxy forces alone. It may take years to turn Afghanistan into a place that is hostile to Al Qaeda, they say, but it may be the only way to keep the United States safe in the long term. Many agree with the classified strategy for a troop buildup that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has presented to Mr. Obama and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent days.
They say a large American-led NATO ground force is needed to clear Taliban-held territory and hold it while instructors train sufficient, competent Afghan soldiers and police officers to secure those areas. The allied force, the argument goes, will buy time and space to help the Afghans build more effective local, provincial and national governments, and create some semblance of an economy. Since many polls in Afghanistan show little support for the Taliban, a stable, peaceful country would not be likely to become a home for terrorists...
More at The New York Times.