U.S. Troop Buildup Planned For Afghanistan

This was a day families at Fort Drum in New York had been waiting for — soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division home after a year in Afghanistan, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

"We're just so excited that we survived our first year," said Jennifer McIver, wife of soldier Nicholas McIver. "And I'm sure we'll have many more to go, but it's nice to know that there was an end of it. There was an end."

But these families had not yet been told.

A brigade of the division — about 3,500 soldiers — is having its one year tour of duty extended, and some of these soldiers will have to go back to Afghanistan.

The Taliban is staging a comeback and more troops are needed for what is expected to be a spring of heavy fighting.

Meanwhile, NATO's top commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that troops battling the resurgent Taliban will shortly be reinforced with another combat brigade.

Gen. David Richards said the brigade will consist of members of different nations participating in NATO's International Security Assistance Force. A brigade is typically 1,500 to 3,500 soldiers; Richards did not specify how many additional troops were expected.

It was unclear whether the increase announced by Richardson included the soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division. The U.S. military is a major contributor to the International Security Assistance Force.

But more troops in Afghanistan will not solve what U.S. officials say is the larger problem: the ability of the Taliban and al Qaeda to operate in the tribal areas of Pakistan, recruiting, training and planning cross- border operations.

"The attacks at this time of the year are up about 200 percent," says Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of the Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan.

Former CIA analyst Lisa Curtis says there is a growing frustration on Washington over the failure of Pakistan's President Musharraf to crack down on the tribal areas.

"If his own troops are incapable of dealing with this problem, then we need to see how we can help because it's too important of a problem to not address head on," Curtis tells Martin.

Last week a CIA drone and Pakistani helicopter gunships launched a missile strike on one suspected training camp, but every such attack triggers backlash against Musharraf.

One intelligence official tells CBS News that Osama bin Laden and other leaders of al Qaeda believed to be hiding in the Pakistani border area are now safer than they were a year ago.
  • Alfonso Serrano

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