Officials: US to Add 14,000 Combat Troops in Afghanistan

Escalation Could Be in Addition to Troop Requests From McChrystal

by Jason Ditz, September 02, 2009

In what seems to be just the latest move in the ongoing US escalation in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials have indicated that they intend to swap out 14,000 support troops in favor of another 14,000 combat troops, which they called “trigger pullers.”

The move comes just days after it was reported that General Stanley McChrystal is planning to ask for another 20,000 combat troops, but does not appear to be a consequence of that, as officials say McChrystal may still request additional combat forces on top of this sometime soon.

The 14,000 non-combat troops which are being “rotated out” for this plan also does not really mean the number of forces on the ground will remain static, as the official said most of them would likely be replaced by additional private contractors.

NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen says that regardless of how poorly August’s elections are perceived, the alliance remains committed to continuing and escalating the war as well. He did however say he hoped the election, despite widespread fraud and intimidation, would be considered “credible.”

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