US Eyes ‘Mini-Surge’ in Afghanistan

Despite Talks of Drawdowns, Military Eyes More Special Forces Deployments

President Obama’s announcement of a “drawdown” in Afghanistan was treated as a major watershed. Despite the ultimately trivial size of the move, it has sparked a new debate about the war and seems to have placated a number of people as a move “out” of Afghanistan.

Incredibly, in the context of this “drawdown” US military leaders are said to be looking at launching a “mini-surge” into Afghanistan, adding a number of special operations forces in hopes of increasing the military’s fighting power in the nation.

Military officials made no secret of their opposition to even the small drawdown, and warned it was risky. Now it seems they are taking the war to an even more dangerous level of escalation, behind the back of the American public.

There are currently some 100,000 US troops and 50,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, nearly a threefold increase over the levels in the nation before President Obama took over. The “drawdown” announced would technically only remove a fraction of what was added during his administration, and only by the end of 2012.

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.