More US Troops For Afghanistan


Pentagon Plans to Send More Than 12,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan

The U.S. commander there, in an exclusive interview, calls for a further buildup to counter the Taliban

By Anna Mulrine
Posted August 19, 2008
The Pentagon will be sending 12,000 to 15,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, possibly as soon as the end of this year, with planning underway for a further force buildup in 2009.

A request by Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, for three U.S. brigades with support staff has been approved. "Now that means we just need to figure out a way to get them there," adds a senior defense official.

The troops are slated to arrive earlier than has been previously discussed, on the heels of the deadliest months for American forces in Afghanistan since the war began.

The first wave of soldiers will be a U.S. Army brigade from the 10th Mountain Division, according to a senior military official. This brigade is scheduled to ship out between November and January, while two other brigades are likely to arrive "sometime in the spring or summer of next year," the official adds.
Deploy an extra six brigades for a two years stint and you'll make progress. That would be do-able by early 2010 with a pull back from Iraq. The problem is deployment and supply - ground shipments are going to only become more dicey. Could you supply 8-9 brigades by air? And what if we lose Pakistan? Do we make an inglorious run for the door?

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