(Updates with additional quotes)
Aspen, Colorado (CNN) - The United States may still be in the Afghanistan and Iraq region for another ten years, according to Gen. George Casey.
“The types of conflict that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think are likely to be fighting here for a decade or so, are focused on the people,” Casey, the army's Chief of Staff, said Friday night at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival.
“We are not going to succeed in either place by military means alone. You are only going to succeed when the people perceive there is a government represented by their interests, when there is an economy that can give them a job to support their families, when there are educational systems that can educate their family. All those things are essential to the long term success of the military operation.”
Washington (CNN) – The drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq remains on track, and the military will meet the troop level benchmark laid out by President Obama, according to the Army Chief of Staff.
In an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Gen. George Casey said the military is slated to reduce troop levels to 50,000 by the end of August.
"[I]t's something we've been working on with the leadership in Iraq for more than 18 months. We have been gradually moving the extra equipment and things out. There's a great plan in place and we're executing that plan right now," Casey said on CNN's John King, USA.
The U.S. now has more troops in Afghanistan than Iraq for the first time since 2003.
When asked about the need for additional resources in Afghanistan - beyond the 30,000 additional troops scheduled to be deployed there - Casey said the number should be sufficient.
(CNN) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Sunday he intends to launch a Senate committee hearing on whether the Fort Hood shootings were a terrorist act and if the Army should have taken pre-emptive steps due to reported signs of Islamic extremism by the suspected gunman.
"I'm intending to begin a congressional investigation of my Homeland Security Committee into what were the motives of (Maj. Nidal Malik) Hasan in carrying out this mass murder," the Connecticut independent, who belongs to the Democratic caucus, said on "FOX News Sunday."
If Hasan was showing signs of being an Islamic extremist, the Army should have acted on that earlier and "he should have been gone," said Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Saying it was too early to know Hasan's exact motive, Lieberman declared that if reports of the alleged gunman's possible Islamic extremism are true, then "the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act."
"We don't know enough to say now," Lieberman said, noting what he called "strong warning signs" that Hasan had become an Islamic extremist.
Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan, a U.S.-born citizen of Palestinian descent, is the sole suspect in the shootings.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Casey told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King “there’s an ongoing investigation and I can’t speak to the particulars of the investigation or to any motivation of Maj. Hasan.”
Echoing recent comments by President Obama and Texas’ Republican senators, Casey cautioned against speculating about the causes behind the shootings.
“We have to be careful,” Casey told King, “because we can’t jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that have come out.”
Casey said he was “concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers” and added that he had asked leaders in his service to be on the lookout for signs of a backlash.
“As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well,” the Army Chief of Staff also said Sunday.
Casey was quick to add that he does not think there is currently discrimination against the roughly 3,000 Muslims who serve in the Army as active duty soldiers or in the reserves.
Updated: 11:41 a.m.