Taliban gaining ground, senator warns

The Taliban is "gaining ground" against the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan and more troops are needed, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Monday.

Corker, who just returned from a trip to Afghanistan during that country's presidential elections, said during an appearance on CNN that he expects the top commander in Afghanistan to request more troops for the effort.

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"The fact is that the Taliban is gaining ground," he said. "We need a policy that certainly is worthy of their commitment. But at the same time, I do know that we are losing security grounds."

Those comments come a day after Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the military situation in Afghanistan is "serious and deteriorating" but that the military was not yet at a point where it expected to ask for more troops to support the effort that has been under way for nearly eight years.

Corker said that he expects the commander of joint forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to make that request for more troops.

"My sense is that Gen. McChrystal will ask for more troops. And as I've said in the past, I rely upon them to make those determinations," Corker said, explaining that McChrystal had told Corker in meetings that the country's presidential election would have to play out before a determination on troop levels would be made.

That election still hasn't been settled, as the challenger Abdullah Abdullah alleged widespread voting fraud in his bid to unseat incumbent President Hamid Karzai.

"My guess is that in the short term, we will need more troops on the ground," Corker said. "In the midterm, though, I think we've got to have to be able to articulate to our troops, to the people back home, what we believe victory is."