Seeing No Results, US Mulls Pulling Troops From Af-Pak Border

"There's no Point Swinging a Hammer If There's No Anvil There"

McClatchy is reporting tonight that US officials are considering pulling troops from the various outposts along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. According to the officials quoted, the outposts “are costly and dangerous and not doing much to bring security.”

General Stanley McChrystal

Instead, General McChrystal is reported to want to focus the troops on more densely populated parts of Afghanistan, with one Pentagon official noting “it’s a concession that we don’t have enough troops.” Officials also seemed to blame Pakistan’s inability to control its side of the border for the situation, noting “there’s no point swinging a hammer if there’s no anvil there.”

The officials insist the final decisions haven’t been made, but this may be a consequence of last week’s delay in Gen. McChrystal long awaited war review, which was expected to include requests for significant additional troops beyond the 21,000 troop escalation already promised by the administration.

Despite repeated increases in the number of US and international troops in Afghanistan, the situation continues to worsen and the levels of violence in the nation appear to set new record highs every months. So far the administration’s strategy appears to be to continue the escalation and throw more money at the problem.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.