Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says that the United States could wind up sending even more troops to Afghanistan this year than was initially planned. During a visit to Fort Drum in New York, Secretary Gates said the number of troops by the end of the year could exceed the 68,000 planned in the Obama Administration’s escalation, though he said it probably would not be much higher.
National Security Adviser James Jones had earlier this month insisted that the US would not be increasing the number of troops to be sent to Afghanistan this year, though he did say the Obama Administration might send another 10,000 troops sometime in 2010.
New Afghan Commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, however, has been told there is no limit to what he can ask for in additional troops, and he is expected to issue his report on the current troop levels sometime soon. It has been widely speculated McChrystal would ask for more troops.
The ability of the military to continue to throw increasing numbers of troops at the war in Afghanistan while maintaining troop levels roughly flat in Iraq is in serious doubt, and the Pentagon is mulling a plan to add another 30,000 soldiers to the Army so that the wars can continue.
2 thoughts on “Gates: US May Send Even More Troops to Afghanistan Than Planned”
Putting more troops into Afghanistan, while a terrible idea, is an admission that the US military continues to flounder. Best strategy is to immediately bring everyone home.
There is an internecine battle taking place within the Obama administraiton. One side led by Joe Biden wants to bring the troops home because there is no strategy to accomplish the mission of defeating-destroying Al-Qaida that they can actually accomplish for Al-Q is an asymmetrical opponent and can only be dealt with via intelligence infiltrations and commando operations (read targeted assassination). Hillary Clinton is the Head Cheerleader for the Gung-Ho faction because as a woman politician she believes that she has to provide strong evidence of her testosterone-driven machismo — which she deems to be the most essential ingredient in the American presidency for more complicated psychological reasons pertaining to her relationship with her problematic husband. Clinton's bellicose stridency at the Council for Foreign Relations earlier this week simply underlines her unreconstructed presidential ambitions. It is clear that Hillary Clinton now believes that Obama's presidency will fail, and she can emerge as the Democratic nominee sometime in the future. When Afghanistan goes pear-shaped next year when McChrystal pleads for more troops, Obama and Biden should sack both him and Clinton as scapegoats for the mess they have made and then begin to pull the troops out. This would eliminate an unnecessary and extremely costly war and a duplicitous and ambitious political opponent who could go on to write memoirs about the wonders of the special relationship between Israel and America garnering millions for speeches in Washington and Tel Aviv.
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