The top US commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that NATO and US forces will hand over responsibility for securing the country to local security forces "as rapidly as conditions allow" - welcome news for war-weary American troops trying to hold back insurgents.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, in a statement issued in Kabul just before President Barack Obama formally announced he was sending 30,000 more US troops to the war, said his main focus will be to develop the capacity of the police and army in Afghanistan, where the president said the security situation had deteriorated.
"We will work toward improved security for Afghanistan and the transfer of responsibility to Afghan security forces as rapidly as conditions allow," McChrystal said.
"The more the merrier, but it depends on what the mission will be," said Spc. Stephen Ayala from San Antonio, Texas, with the 425th Field Artillery battalion. "If they come to train the Afghans, that's good for us. If they are going to do some damage, so much the better. But for us, we just want to go home."