Gen. Allen Recommends Large Force for Post-2014 Afghanistan

Seeks More Troops Than He Thinks Are Needed

Former Afghanistan Commander Gen. John Allen has revealed that he recommended 13,600 US troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014, well in excess of the 8-12,000 being envisioned by other Pentagon officials at the time.

Allen, who has since retired, admits that he recommended the large number even though he personally believes that fewer troops would be able to achieve the same military goals.

Allen’s replacement, Gen. Joseph Dunford, still hasn’t submitted his own recommendation for troop levels at that point, and insists he will not do so until after the 2013 summer fighting season, claiming it will be a “bellweather” for the war’s success.

Though there appears to be no imminent decision on troop levels, all indications are that the US intends to keep a large force in Afghanistan in 2015 and beyond, with the real debate going on simply questioning how large that force will be.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of