WASHINGTON - In his much-awaited assessment of the war in Afghanistan, the top US military commander in that war-torn country has said the situation is serious and requires a new strategy. General Stanley McChrystal sent a strategic review to the Pentagon on Monday, according to media reports. He did not ask for more troops but is widely expected to do so in a separate request, especially in view of the pressure US-led NATO forces have come under stepped attacks by Taliban fighters. The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort, McChrystal said in a statement announcing the release of the report. Defence Secretary Robert Gates had ordered a 60-day review of the war shortly after McChrystal replaced General David McKiernan in a shakeup of the top leadership in Afghanistan in May. President Barack Obama sent 21,000 additional US forces to Afghanistan this year to help secure the August 20 presidential elections - bringing the number of US troops to more than 62,000. McChrystal, who took command on June 15, delayed the release of his review so it would not interfere with the election, whose fairness has come under question. There are numerous complaints of fraud and rigging in favour of President Hamid Karzai. Experts here say the report is a crucial step to turning around the worsening situation in Afghanistan as about 130,000 US troops prepare to withdrawal from Iraq. This year has already become the deadliest year for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion - 302 have been killed in action since Jan. 1 - and August has been the deadliest month for US troops. McChrystal has said there needs to be a renewed focus on counter-insurgency tactics in Afghanistan, with troops focusing on protecting the population rather than killing the enemy. The report was sent to General David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, for comment before it hits the desk of Gates and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. AFP/REUTERS add: The situation in Afghanistan is serious but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort, said McChrystal in a statement. It said his assessment seeks to implement Obamas strategy to reduce the capability and will of the insurgents, Al-Qaeda and transnational extremists as well as develop Afghan forces and improve governance and development. McChrystal would call for a deepening partnership with other nations engaged in Afghanistan as the United States currently bears two-thirds of the military and civilian burden, he said on condition of anonymity. The military commitment was likely to be rebalanced over the coming three to five years, he said, gradually moving from frontline engagement to training of Afghan security forces. Get rid of the conventional mindset. Focus on the people, not the militants, wrote McChrystal. Our Monitoring Desk adds: The top US general admitted that the US current strategy towards Afghanistan was failing and needed to be revisited. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday he saw a mixed picture in the US war in Afghanistan, but some of the more pessimistic assessments of the situation there were overdrawn. Its a mixed picture in Afghanistan, Gates told Bloomberg TV during a visit to Lockheed Martin Corps F-35 fighter plant. There are a lot of challenges, but I think some of the doom and gloom perhaps is somewhat overdrawn as well. Gates cited recent elections as a positive factor, despite the controversy over their outcome, although he acknowledged the US casualties were rising. Theres no question we have a very tough fight in front of us - a lot of challenges, he said. US envoy Richard Holbrooke in an interview in Paris with France 24 on Monday said US and NATO troops have inflicted vast damage on the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, seizing strongholds and making a dent in the Islamic militias drug trade. He said a major US offensive launched last month was showing results. The coalition forces including the British and Americans have done vast damage to the Taliban, disrupted them, captured major caches of opium, heroin and drug paraphernalia, he said. They have really rocked the drug culture down there, have retaken many areas that were hardcore Taliban and the people have welcomed them with great enthusiasm. Holbrooke was in Paris ahead of a meeting on Wednesday with his counterparts from France, Germany, Britain and the United Nations to chart a way forward in Afghanistan following the elections. He reiterated that the door is open for dialogue with members of the Taliban who renounce Al-Qaeda and violence. But he sidestepped questions on the crediblity of the Afghanistan vote that is expected to return President Hamid Karzai to power, saying that the process is still unrolling so lets see what happens on that.