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ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. general in charge of training Afghanistan’s national army and police forces today said the plan announced by President Barack Obama last week to send thousands more U.S. military and law enforcement trainers to stand up an Afghan security force of 134,000 soldiers and nearly 82,000 police officers was a good start, but one that will be reassessed in the weeks ahead.

Maj. Gen. Richard Formica, of Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan, spoke to Pentagon reporters via satellite from Camp Eggers, Kabul, saying the president’s plan represented a "demonstrable and significant commitment" to speed up growing the country’s security forces, by providing enough trainers and troops to meet their annual training goals for the first time.

"It’s important that we progress toward that significant milestone, while at the same time consider the potential for further growth," he said.

The commander said that he has passed to Washington initial field estimates calling for a larger end-strength goal of Afghan security forces than is now authorized.

"I know lots of numbers have been batted around, upwards of potentially doubling the size of the Afghan national security forces," he said, but would not confirm any hard figures.

"These have not been fully vetted, nor have they been scrubbed by our coalition partners. That’s the work that has to continue in the weeks ahead," Formica said.

Formica said he expects the additional 4,000 trainers to come as a single brigade combat team that will work as mentor teams embedded with Afghan units. Currently, teams of roughly 16 Americans, consisting of a dozen troops with a few law enforcement trainers from the State Department, are assigned to train Afghan brigades of 500 to 600 soldiers.

The new unit, Formica said, will augment the 48th Brigade Combat Team, an Army National Guard unit out of Georgia due to arrive later this year in the south and the west, while the 33rd Brigade Combat Team already in country, an Army National Guard unit from Illinois, would focus on the north, central and eastern regions.

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