In March, President Obama approved a roughly 21,000 man escalation in Afghanistan, which at the time was an enormous escalation of a war which President Bush had himself escalated just a few months prior.
This escalation accomplished little, and 2009 has ended up being the deadliest year by far since the 2001 US invasion. President Obama will therefore be sending another massive escalation to the nation very soon.
Advisers have reportedly narrowed it down to three options, a 20,000-25,000 troop escalation, a 45,000 troop escalation, and a “compromise” of about 34,000 which is seen as the favorite at the moment.
Though 34,000 is an enormous additional commitment, and will likely strain the military with 120,000 troops still on the ground in Iraq (and likely not going anywhere for quite some time) and around 68,000 in Afghanistan already, it is being treated as a very modest move.
It isn’t hard to see why, either. Gen. McChrystal’s much publicized 40,000 troop request quickly became 45,000, and then 60,000. By mid-October, the McChrystal Plan was calling for 80,000 additional troops. Though the military literally didn’t have 80,000 or even 60,000 additional troops to send, the fact that the idea was put out there will likely play to President Obama’s favor, and will make his 34,000 troop “surge” look like a reasonable response by comparison.
7 thoughts on “Obama Narrows Afghan Options: 34,000-Troop Escalation Favored”
ok obama you won't need a teleprompter for this speech just memorize this – now repeat after me
"I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President."
He's going to be a one-termer just like LBJ. And for the same reason. He doesn't have enough spine to stare down the U.S. military machine.
a centrist compromise.
Note how all three "options" all involve military increases. The BEST option – withdrawal – was never even put on the table.
O, say it ain't SO…………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow! I must be psychic. Saw this coming a mile off. Knew they'd do this bad cop, good cop routine and after floating a ridiculous number they'd go for what they wanted all along. Jeez! It's like watching a bad game of Texas Hold'em where all the cards are marked and you know everything ahead of time.
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