The US is definitely going to be sending more ground troops to Afghanistan soon, but the exact number is yet to be determined, with the Pentagon today backing away from media reports yesterday that they’d settled on a figure of 4,000 more troops, saying no final decisions have been made yet on numbers.
That might suggest they’re leaning toward an even bigger number, with influential retired Gen. Jack Keane suggesting that the US needed to send up to 20,000 more ground troops if they wanted to win the war, saying he believed the 4,000 figure was not likely to change the direction of the war.
Defense Secretary James Mattis conceded in testimony to the Senate this week that the US is “not winning” in Afghanistan, and President Trump has since given him unilateral authority to decide on troop levels and strategy. Mattis was seen as leaning toward the high end of escalation proposals.
It’s not clear whether that means the 4,000 to 5,000 figures being bandied about by Pentagon officials, however, or if proposals by former officials for far bigger escalations, like Keane’s today, might have some traction. Keane explicitly faulted President Obama for removing the 100,000 troops the US had in Afghanistan at one point and leaving only around 8,000 insisting that “we have to put that back if they’re going to be effective.”
The Afghan War hasn’t exactly been popular, however, and while the roughly 8,500 troops there presently mostly fly under the radar, moves to double or triple the number of US troops in the country could prove very controversial, particularly since, 16 years into the war,the US seems further than ever from something resembling victory.
27 thoughts on “General Urges Up to 20,000 More US Troops in Afghanistan”
Time to close out that war. The Afghans are in agreement. So, let them run their own country. Time to close out one war at least. The easy one is Afghanistan — as there are neighbors able and ready to contribute to stability and development. Another easy one is Syria. Without meddling, this one would end in a month. And Yemen war, please! KSA is trying to impose as legitimate a President that was imposed on the country folliwing mass protests. He is Sunni, and KSA wants him to rule Shia north. But his fellow Sunnis in the south do not want him either. South wants independence, and it looks like UAE and Oman may help this happen — abandoning KSA. So, let us get out of the way, and countries going back to separated north and south.
We did the same bullshit in Viet Nam – take sides in another country’s internal problems. Only there, we got hundreds of thousands of drafted troops to take part in an obvious failure resulting in unequivocal rejection of the whole effort. This was a well deserved blow to the military – the result being called the Viet Nam Syndrome. America did well for a few years after vomiting out the militaristic poison.
But we are now going down the same road again, only this time the MIC are wisely half-stepping – keeping troop levels down to only tens of thousands and instead of drafting the intelligent people who might rebel – using unemployed wretches willing to kill foreign peasants for a decent paycheck. Unfortunately by being “more reasonable”, we will descend deeper into the mud this time.
Don’t forget the propaganda machine that has made the troops untouchable. Every major sporting event is a jingoistic orgy where the announcers always thank the troops profusely for “keeping us safe”. I can’t turn on the radio for ten minutes without hearing some public service ad lauding the troops. Even our divided congress agrees that not supporting the troops is damn near treasonous. It matters not whether the “war” is just.
Empire expansion, how sweet it is and what more precious a spot on the planet is there to anchor expansion then this little clump of mountains that separates our three most powerful competitors for hegemony, Russia, China and India.
Military service has been relegated to the peasant classes.
So what are 28,500 troops going to do that 130,000 troops didn’t do or accomplished before?
Well, for one, it just might wake the American people from their chronic somnambulant stupor. Slipping 3-4K “trainers and advisors” in periodically tends to slide under the radar. Dropping 20K into the AO will most likely not go unnoticed, one would hope, though given the state of affairs nowadays, you never know.
Insure another 8 years of staying there, and guarantee ongoing profits to contractors and suppliers. Many of them not American. All have ways of convincing politicians to stay the course. Otherwise, our pilitical classnof generals would not do it .
The US never had that many in Afghanistan, you’re thinking of Iraq. Regardless, the Pentagon will get what the Pentagon needs. Our opinions on the matter mean nothing. Afghanistan will be completely taken and militarized by the US with bases because it borders Iran. The US is surrounding Iran because they are next on the chopping block.
According to NPR ….
“In his first few years in office, Obama dramatically ramped up the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, from a little over 30,000 to more than 100,000 troops at the peak in 2011.”
Hopefully Trump learns to tell the generals, “No!”
Giving lame dog Mattis control over troop levels hardly seems like an indication that will happen any time soon.
15+ years! Can you believe it? The outrage should be much greater. And that a-hole Keane thinking we can actually still ‘win’ the war?? There’s only one way to win this war: nuke it ’til it glows. If that seems over the top General, then consider a sane alternative: call it a day! Or are you just scared that if you leave, someone else will get the opium revenue? Or worse, that the Taliban will return to full control and stop opium production like they did before?
“15+ years! Can you believe it? The outrage should be much greater.”
Obamanothercountry did his job which was to silence and shut down the anti war movement. ‘mericans seduced by telegenic slick talking con artist. Phony alleged liberals went back to sleep.
money money money money!!!!!!!!!!!!!
History has few examples of generals who did not want more troops.
History has many examples of mediocre or poor generals who say they must have more troops to suceed.
My brother and I joined the Vietnam War, whereupon I spent my tour of duty stomping the jungles of the South Pacific, while brother aced out by spending three years serving in Germany and pursuing a college degree. About 40 years later when he condemned it as his worse decision in life, I countered with the probability that had we not joined the carnage at age 18, three years later would come the draft and our career and maybe our life could have been cut short with a vengeance. But, we really had no choice, as the hunger was really starting to hurt, mom and baby sis were on the verge of being among the homeless and life kicks on down.
Trump promised to stop the US wars of aggression; but, it seems he’s getting too much pressure to keep them going to stop them. But, he’s got 8 years to get it done.
A hundred thousand troops for another twenty years wouldn’t matter much. The window of opportunity to do something worthwhile in Afghanistan, closed long ago.
Comments are closed.