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Ear to the Ground

McChrystal to Send Troop Request by Week’s End

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Posted on Sep 23, 2009
troops in Afghanistan
Flickr / U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Marcus J. Quarterman

More where they came from?: Army and Air Force troops in 2007 search mountains in the Andar province of Afghanistan for Taliban members and weapons caches.

The Obama administration is reconsidering its Afghanistan strategy in light of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s startling “mission failure” warning. It’s unclear whether the White House will go along with McChrystal’s call for up to 40,000 more troops—but the general is apparently going to go ahead with his request over the next few days.  —KA

AP via Google News:

The Pentagon said Wednesday that a request for new troops from the U.S. commander in Afghanistan may have to be revised amid growing uncertainty inside the Obama administration over whether to escalate the American commitment to the eight-year war.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the troop request from U.S. and NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal will be delivered by the week’s end.

But Defense Secretary Robert Gates will not look to escalate the military mission in Afghanistan until President Barack Obama and his national security team “are ready to consider it,” Morrell said.

Morrell also signaled that the number of troops that McChrystal will ask for — believed to be as high as 40,000 — could change after the report is received if the White House reverses its Afghanistan strategy.

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By anonymous, September 24, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People used to say the president’s daughters should enlist if all this
warring were a good idea.

whew!

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By rollzone, September 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

hello. warmongers know to ramp up a war ends the war. the Taliban insurgents come from Pakistan, Iran, no., Al-Qooka is from Saudi Arabia, North Korea, the axis of evil- Iraq. more killing. drones and tanks, foot soldiers and missiles, send troops, helliicoppttterrrssssss. napalm, your palm, robots, night vision, armor piercing hell rpg.s- more rpg’s, kill all the terrorists in AFGHANISTAN: so they won’t ride their camels down main street. the war machine has an appetite - feed it, feed it; it needs to wade knee deep in blood and keep testing new slaughter machines. we do not want these crazy murdering savages loose in the general public, send them to Afghanistan, or wherever you decide- just keep them off our streets. when i can not pay my tithe to the street corner gang, so i can go to the mall and shop in peace, then you should bring these murderers home. this is no time to begin rational debate about how to destroy the extremist Taliban, or Al-Qooka; even if this means more of the same (from the past 8 years) and it resembles Cambodia; or Russia just got their butts kicked over there, or there are not enough capable indigenous men alive to make a credible exit strategy- just kill, kill, kill. may God forgive us all.

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By ardee, September 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Afghanistan will swallow twenty, or forty or sixty thousand troops as it did the Soviet 40th Army..Lest we forget:

Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989, a total of 620,000 soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 serving at one time): 525,000 in the Army, 90,000 with border troops and other KGB sub-units, 5,000 in independent formations of MVD Internal Troops, and police forces. A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar and blue collar jobs.

The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men. During this period 417 servicemen were missing in action or taken prisoner; 119 of these were later freed, of whom 97 returned to the USSR and 22 went to other countries.

There were 469,685 sick and wounded, of whom 53,753 or 11.44 percent, were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick. A high proportion of casualties were those who fell ill. This was because of local climatic and sanitary conditions, which were such that acute infections spread rapidly among the troops. There were 115,308 cases of infectious hepatitis, 31,080 of typhoid fever, and 140,665 of other diseases. Of the 11,654 who were discharged from the army after being wounded, maimed, or contracting serious diseases, 92 percent, or 10,751 men, were left disabled.

After the war ended, the Soviet Union published figures of dead Soviet soldiers: the total was 13,836 men, an average of 1,512 men a year. According to updated figures, the Soviet army lost 14,427, the KGB lost 576, with 28 people dead and missing.

Material losses were as follows:[citation needed]

  * 451 aircraft (includes 333 helicopters)
  * 147 tanks
  * 1,314 IFV/APCs
  * 433 artillery guns and mortars
  * 1,138 radio sets and command vehicles
  * 510 engineering vehicles
  * 11,369 trucks and petrol tankers

Damage to Afghanistan

Over 1 million Afghans were killed.[71] 5 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran, 1/3 of the prewar population of the country. Another 2 million Afghans were displaced within the country. In the 1980s, one out of two refugees in the world was an Afghan.

Along with fatalities were 1.2 million Afghans disabled (mujahideen, government soldiers and noncombatants) and 3 million maimed or wounded (primarily noncombatants).

Somebody tell McChrystal, please…

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By Gold Star Father, September 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why can’t we just stop this stupidity and bring them home now? Fuck more troops, more money. Everyone’s crytal ball has failed, from the neocons to the far Left about what would happen if we did this or that.
  There is no “mission” in Afghanistan but attrition. Everyone losses. Just stand by, the 10 year olds will get to boot camp age and we just start over—same shit, different site.

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By Dave, September 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look at history. Look at Vietnam. Look at the U.S.
repeat history. Just two more years in Afghanistan
and it’s a decade. Just like Vietnam.

When will we learn?

I’m asking readers that in my column “As It Stands”
in the Times-Standard (a daily newspaper in Northern
California)Sunday 9/27/09.
Forgive me for the plug, but I think I’ve got strong
reasons for getting out of both wars we’re mired in.

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By dihey, September 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

According to traditional Washington political arithmetic McChrystal will get 20,000 more soldiers which is 1/2 of the sum of zero and 40,000. Also known as “split the difference”.

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By msgmi, September 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Loyalty, allegiance and trust are key questions in the Afghan policy. Do these fundamentals exist with the Afghan central government, the military and the majority of the indigenous populace? Do each of these elements support the activities of the coalition? Is the coalition force regarded as a liberator or occupier?  Is “victory” achievable; at what cost and at what timetable? If the answer is for “victory”, bring back the draft for the loooong haul.

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skulz fontaine's avatar

By skulz fontaine, September 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

If Gen. Stan ‘Westmoreland’ McChrystal doesn’t get his grunts, he’s gonna pick up
his war and go home! We wouldn’t want that now would we.

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