It is even worse than I thought, forget 2-3 years, looks like 12 months is all that we have, then negotiate from a position of weakness. The Times; Top US general Stanley McChrystal: we need a new plan to win in Afghanistan General McChrystal: made his warning in a leaked report Jenny Booth America and Nato's top military commander in Afghanistan has warned in a secret report that he needs more troops and a new strategy or his mission will probably end in failure. General Stanley McChrystal admits that the Taleban insurgents have made advances in the last year, and that unless the tide is turned back they may be unbeatable within 12 months. "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months)... risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible," writes General McChrystal. The 66-page report was presented to Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, on August 30 and leaked to the Washington Post. As foreign forces experience their most deadly year since the 2001 invasion, with more than 350 deaths so far, the general warns of an increasing price to be paid in human lives, saying it "is realistic to expect that Afghan and coalition casualties will increase". General McChrystal is expected to follow up his assessment shortly with a detailed request to President Obama for more resources and thousands more troops, on top of the 21,000 surge troops sent earlier this year. Officials estimate that he may ask for as many as 30,000 more combat forces and military trainers - a demand that Mr Obama will have difficulty in persuading his Democratic party colleagues who control Congress to agree, although Republicans favour the plan. Some reports this weekend suggested that the General has already drawn up his list of requirements but has been asked by the White House not to submit it yet because of the tricky political situation at home. In television interviews yesterday Mr Obama denied asking the general to sit on his resource request, but refused to say when he would make a decision on whether to send more Americans to fight an unpopular war. In his gloomy assessment, General McChrystal estimates that America is already losing in Afghanistan. "Although considerable effort and sacrifice have resulted in some progress, many indicators suggest the overall effort is deteriorating," he writes. He speaks of the "urgent need for a significant change to our strategy", calling for US forces to work more harmoniously with their Nato allies and to concentrate far more on winning hearts and minds among the Afghan people. International forces "have operated in a manner that distances us, physically and psychologically, from the people we seek to protect", he continues, in a reference to the high civilian death toll in US and NATO air strikes that has infuriated ordinary Afghans. "The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily, but we can defeat ourselves," he admits. "Inadequate resources will likely result in failure. However, without a new strategy, the mission should not be resourced... "Our objective must be the population. The objective is the will of the people, our conventional warfare culture is part of the problem, the Afghans must ultimately defeat the insurgency." And he lambasts the corruption of President Karzai's government and the fledgling Afghan state for helping to alienate the Afghan people, blaming "the weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials". Afghanistan's bloated prisons system had been allowed to become a hotbed of the insurgency, a place for rebels to plan and launch terrorist operations against the US and International Security Assistance Force troops, he said. Senator Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, has told Mr Obama that he wants no new troop request at least until US forces had made stronger efforts to expand and train the Afghan National Army. But Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate's Republican leader, said that Mr Obama should follow the advice of his military and send the manpower. In the course of five television interviews yesterday, the president made plain he wanted to wait and re-evaluate whether extra troops would do any good. "We're going to test whatever resources we have against our strategy, which is if by sending young men and women into harm's way we are defeating al-Qaeda," said Mr Obama. "If that can be shown to a sceptical audience - namely me, somebody who is always asking hard questions about deploying troops - then we will do what's required to keep the American people safe." Fifty-eight per cent of Americans now oppose the Afghan war while 39 per cent support it, according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll.