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Top General faces tough time on the Hill. -

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ELEANOR HALL: The top US commander in Afghanistan says the war is now winnable.

General Stanley McChrystal was testifying before both House and Senate Committees about President
Barack Obama's decision to send another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

Some of the most pointed questioning has come from politicians who are sceptical about whether or
not the Afghan Government is a worthy partner.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers has our report.

KIM LANDERS: For almost seven hours, the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley
McChrystal, has been grilled about the President's new war strategy.

And he told the sceptical Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin,
that he supports the plan without reservation.

CARL LEVIN: And is it your personal, professional judgement that the President's strategic plan is
the correct plan?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: Yes Mr Chairman, it is.

KIM LANDERS: The General in charge of the war in Afghanistan says he expects to know by this time
next year whether the new troop build-up is reversing Taliban momentum. And he believes he'll be
able to drawdown forces in 2011 without asking for more.

General McChrystal says there are no silver bullets for success.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tried to sum up what's at stake.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: On a scale of one to 10, failure in Afghanistan, a failed state, what would that
mean to our national security, one being inconsequential, 10 being catastrophic?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: I believe it would be a nine or 10, not just because I believe Al Qaeda would
move back in but also because I believe regional instability, as it would spill over into Pakistan
and other areas, would be absolutely negative to our interest.

KIM LANDERS: General McChrystal estimates there are between 24,000 and 27,000 full-time Taliban
fighters in Afghanistan.

Asked why they wouldn't just wait for the US to start withdrawing in mid 2011, he says the Taliban
isn't popular and can't count on people to support them while they lie low.

LINDSAY GRAHAM: Do you feel totally comfortable with the idea that the enemy now knows that we're
going to be withdrawing but they don't know at what pace, that that's not going to compromise your
ability to be successful?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: I think more importantly if we carefully articulate and strongly articulate the
concept of a strategic partnership over the long haul, that's a much more powerful idea. In the
short term we have a tremendous additional capability that's being fielded in addition to what
we're already using, as you saw when you were out, and then the idea of a strategic partnership, in
my view that takes the strategic horizon away from the insurgents.

KIM LANDERS: While US politicians have quizzed the General and the ambassador about the President's
Afghanistan strategy they've also honed in on their frustrations with the Afghan Government.

Senator Carl Levin says for all the efforts to train Afghan troops, US troops still outnumber them
five to one in the south and east of the country.

CARL LEVIN: The British insist on one to one, the Australians insist on one to one, it's their
doctrine; it's their mission that they're mainly there for partnering with the Afghan troops, and
so their requirement, which they insist on, is about a one to one to begin with.

Why do we not have that same insistence, determination that our doctrine, which is one to one, be
implemented since partnering and training the Afghan forces is such an important part of our
mission?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: Chairman, I could not agree more. There are simply not yet an Afghan national
army to meet everyone's requirements.

KIM LANDERS: The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, has also been on the end of some
tough questioning from Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

LORETTA SANCHEZ: Have you seen anything in the last 18 months that would tell us that the Karzai
Government is doing something about corruption? Have you seen him, I don't know, arrest his
brother, put people in jail, bring people to trial, stand up a court system that's actually going
to take care of some of this corruption, ask him for the numbers to Swiss bank accounts?

What have you seen the Karzai Government? Because he's been in for five years, he's just gotten
another five years and we know that it's been completely and totally corrupt.

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: What you're asking about right now, the need to improve the accountability of
the Afghan Government, it is central to our success. But against that we have to declare over the
last seven years, starting from a very, very extraordinarily low base line, there has been progress
in Afghanistan.

KIM LANDERS: Despite the pessimistic tone set by the politicians a new survey shows that American
public support for the war has now risen sharply since President Barack Obama presented his plan to
send more troops.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.