Gen. McChrystal: 40,000 More Troops the ‘Minimum’ Needed in Afghanistan

As Questions Mount, General Remains Committed to Massive Escalation

Amid growing speculation that President Barack Obama may commit an additional 10,000 troops to Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the ongoing war, is making it clear he wants more – a lot more.

In fact, sources familiar with the general’s recommendations say that he has said that 40,000 additional US soldiers is the absolute “minimum” that would be necessary to obtain victory. Officials were less forthcoming, however, with how the victory would be defined.

McChrystal has sought a massive military escalation in the nation while objecting to any attempts to scale down their overall goals in the conflict. His recommendation has reportedly sought an additional 45,000 troops, a huge number considering the US only had 47,000 troops there when President Obama took office.

He has been uncharacteristically willing to speak out in favor of his escalation, going so far as to publicly mock Vice President Biden’s plan as a recipe for “Chaos-istan,” leading to a harsh rebuke from President Obama. It seems though from the general’s perspective 40,000-45,000 is the sweet spot for ensuring the war can continue, over eight years after it began.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.