Police officials from some of Afghanistan's most violent regions questioned the need for more American troops, saying it would increase the perception that the US is an occupying power and that the money would be better spent on local forces.
The police comments Monday were a response to an assessment from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, who warned the war was getting worse and could be lost without more troops.
US President Barack Obama earlier this year approved sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of US forces to 68,000 by the end of 2009. McChrystal is expected to ask for more troops in coming weeks, but increasing the number risks alienating Afghans, the police officials said.
The officials come from some of the provinces where the militant threat is the strongest and where international soldiers and Afghans alike have struggled for years to keep the peace. Their reluctance to add troops is striking because of their broad experience already against the Taliban.