Gen Jones: More Troops Not "Off the Table"

National Security Advisor Jim Jones on relations between the U.S and North Korea and plans in Afghanistan
CBS
President Obama's National Security Adviser, Gen. Jim Jones, said current assessments and discussions about sending additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan is not "off the table" on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"I did not say that troop strength is off the table for discussion," Jones told CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent and "Face the Nation" Anchor Bob Schieffer. "What I did say is we have yet to be able to measure the implementation of the new strategy."

"We will see within a year whether this strategy is working and then we will adjust from there."

He said that the strategy announced in March contains "three legs": more security, economic development and better local government.

"We want to put an Afghan capacity together as quickly as possible," Jones argued.

He said that the Department of Defense and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander, are currently conducting an assessment which will be evaluated by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Mr. Obama.

Schieffer pushed Jones. "That sounds like you are getting us ready for sending more troops to Afghanistan."

Jones revealed that Gates told Mr. Obama when the Afghanistan troop surge was announced that there was no need to make a decision on additional forces "that were on the charts" - which has currently come up for discussion.

The retired general admitted that he thought "we did not have a well implemented strategy until March of this year" when Schieffer asked when Americans will know how well we are doing in Afghanistan.

"Yes, we have been there six years," he said but the plan developed in March was really a first step to progress.

"I don't think we are at a crisis level" in Afghanistan, Jones said when asked about a secret meeting between top military officials last weekend. He also noted the importance of the upcoming Afghani election.

"There is going to be a little more fighting. Unfortunately we are going to take more casualties," he said.