WASHINGTON - No decisions on increasing the number of American troops in Afghanistan have been made despite a serious and deteriorating situation, the top US military officer insisted Sunday on separate television talk show appearances. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said an assessment by the general in charge of US operations in Afghanistan will be submitted in the next few weeks, and a decision on whether more troops are needed will be made sometime after that assessment is studied. The assessment that he will submit here in the next couple of weeks wont specifically deal with requirements for additional resources, Mullen said of the report by General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding officer on the ground in Afghanistan. It will deal with whatever additional resources might be required subsequent to that in the normal process, Mullen said on NBCs Meet the Press news programme. Speaking about the security situation in Afghanistan on CNNs State of the Union show, he said, I think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and Ive said that over the past couple of years, that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated, in their tactics. Top American commanders have been making similar grim pronouncements for months, but Admiral Mullens remark came amid the Afghan presidential election, the strategy review by General McChrystal and a steady decline in American public support for the war. Recent polls show those opposing the war now slightly outnumber those favouring it. Admiral Mullen said that Gen McChrystal was still completing his review and had not yet requested additional troops on top of the 17,000 decided on earlier by President Obama. His guidance from me and from the secretary of defence was to assess where you are and tell us what you need, and well get to that point, the Admiral said. A leading Republican voice on security matters, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said Sunday that he thought the general faced heavy pressure not to seek large numbers of additional troops, but he also said he did not think the pressure was coming from President Obama. I think there are great pressures on General McChrystal to reduce those estimates, the senator said on ABCs This Week. I dont think its necessarily from the president, I think its from the people around him and others, McCain said. But I have confidence that he will make his most honest and best recommendations. Both the senator and Admiral Mullen said that they thought it important that serious signs of progress begin emerging in the next 12 to 18 months if the administration is to withstand public and congressional pressures to leave Afghanistan. I think you need to see a reversal of these very alarming and disturbing trends, said McCain, who recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan. The admiral counselled patience, noting on NBCs Meet the Press that were just getting the pieces in place of the presidents new strategy. I dont see this as a mission of endless drift, he said. We learned a lot of lessons from Iraq. AFP and Reuters add: Mullen nearly eight years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda remains very capable of attacking the US. Al-Qaeda is still very capable, very focused on it, Mullen said on NBCs Meet the Press. They also are able to both train and support and finance, and so that capability is still significant, he said. The top US military officer added that the American military is very focused on making sure that it doesnt happen again, referring to the potential for another such attack on US soil. Al-Qaeda is gaining from the support of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, making the US fight against extremism in Afghanistan all the more urgent, Mullen said. Meanwhile US support for the war in Afghanistan was appeared tepid at best. A survey by the Washington Post and ABC News in mid-August suggested 51pc believe the war is not worth fighting, while 47pc support it. Certainly the numbers are of concern, Mullen said, as Washington ramps up efforts to bolster the size and strength of US forces in Afghanistan. He said he was very concerned by last weeks massive truck bombings in Baghdad, which killed at least 95 people, mainly in the foreign and finance ministries. (Im) extremely concerned by the incidents last week. I think everybody was, he said. The key is whether this is an indicator of future sectarian violence and certainly many of us believe that one way that this can come unwound is through sectarian violence. Our Monitoring Desk adds: Adm Mullen expressed concern about eroding public support for the war in Afghanistan and said the country remained vulnerable to being taken over again by extremist forces. He said President Barack Obamas new strategy for defeating the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was a work in progress as more US troops are put in place. Mullen, a Vietnam veteran, said he was aware that public support for the war was critical. Certainly the numbers are of concern, he said. But, he added, this is the war were in. The new strategy is intended to disrupt and defeat Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and its extremist allies. These forces have become much stronger and use safe havens in Pakistan to hide and plan attacks, he said. I recognise that weve been there over eight years, Mullen said. This is the first time weve ever really resourced a strategy on the civilian and military side. According to Zee News, a top American Senator said the US is facing a determined enemy in Afghanistan, who has a safe haven in Pakistan. Senator John McCain, a member of the influential Senate Armed Services Committee, said the American military is facing a determined enemy in Afghanistan, underlining the need for a tough military leadership in the restive country. It is very hard. It is very tough. We are facing a very determined enemy that will stand and fight in some instances, that are very adaptable, and obviously with safe havens in Pakistan, the Arizona Senator told the ABC News in an interview.