Collins not sure more troops needed in Afghanistan

Posted Sept. 21, 2009, at 4:19 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — President Barack Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan has his work cut out if he wants to convince Maine Sen. Susan Collins that more U.S. troops are needed.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal told Obama in a memo that the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and that the existing level of troops isn’t enough to win the war. He says more troops are needed, though there’s no guarantee of victory.

Collins says she’s not convinced that more troops are the answer. Nor is she convinced that the existing troop levels are the solution to all of Afghanistan’s problems.

For now Collins is withholding judgment. The Maine Republican says McChrystal will have to convince her that more troops are needed when he testifies before the Armed Services Committee on which she serves.