The U.S.-led military coalition is considering moving more forces to eastern Afghanistan to protect Kabul from Pakistan-based insurgents, the coalitions new commander has said. "My sense is that there will be additional combat forces sent into the east, some number of battalions," the Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. Marine General John Allen, who took over from General David Petraeus in July, as saying. "Well also be strengthening the defense in the east to provide a buffer between the Pakistani border and Kabulto dominate the enemys avenues of approach to the Kabul security zone," he added. Last years surge of 30,000 additional troops, ordered by President Barack Obama, focused mostly on the Taliban heartland in southern Afghanistans Kandahar and Helmand provinces, where several formerly insurgent-held districts have become much more secure. General Allen said he has not yet decided whether or not to formally declare the mountainous eastern provinces between Pakistan and Kabul as the coalitions "main effort" in the next fighting season. "The main effort now is protecting the population in the south," Gen. Allen said. "My intent next year is to consolidate our holdings in the south. With the combat power we have, well put special emphasis in the east in 2012," he added. Despite the fact that the US is trying to pull out forces from Afghanistan, General Allen said that he intends to keep as much firepower in place as possible for next years battles.