Pentagon Denies Hidden Troop Hike as 13,000 More Will Head to Afghanistan

Spokesman Insists Deployment Won't Bring Overall Number Past 68,000 'This Year'

The Pentagon reacted with indignation today amid reports that President Obama had covertly approved an additional 13,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan at the same time he had announced his 21,000 troop escalation in March.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said that nothing about the deployment was ever technically hidden from the American public, though the plans were only revealed today and were planned in March.

Col. Lapan then offered a huge caveat, noting that the 13,000 troops wouldn’t lead to the US force exceeding the announced 68,000 “by the end of the year.” What happens in three months appears to be anyone’s guess.

And the 13,000 additional support troops in probably the tip of the iceberg at any rate, with President Obama promising to make a decision on how many additional troops he will approve in “the coming weeks.” General Stanley McChrystal is seeking another 60,000 troops for the war, which would be completely separate from this escalation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of