03/05/2010, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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U.S. General McChrystal given major powers over all troops in Afghanistan

The current commander of forces in the country will have control of all military, except for some small special contingents. According to some officers the general’s target is the region of Helmand, while the current British command will give priority to the attack in Kandahar.
Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The General Stanley McChrystal, commander of troops in Afghanistan (pictured with President Obama), is about have his authority extended over all the United States and NATO troops in the country. The goal is to have all soldiers under one general command, with the exception of a small contingent of U.S. special forces troops and some support troops from other nations.  
 
McChrystal  is already the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, but the new position would give the approximately 121 thousand men from the international forces and more control than his predecessors ever had. "He wants to have operational control over all U.S. troops, with the exception of a small group of special forces," said an unnamed American officer. The American task force that oversees prisoners remain outside his command as well as some support troops from other countries.  
 

The increase of McChrystal’s authority falls during the increase of the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which since August has seen the number of foreign soldiers in the country amount to 150 thousand men,.  

The new command, as reported by some officers, would lead operations in Helmand province in the southwest of the country, while the current NATO command of the area, led by the British, will have its hands free to concentrate on attacking the Taliban stronghold in Kandahar.  

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