21,000-Troop Surge Apparently Not Enough; Military Brass Want 10,000 More in Afghanistan
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Did you catch that Onion headline last month -- the one that read "U.S. Troops In Iraq Excited To Finally Return To Afghanistan"? Funny stuff, for sure, but today's headlines render it just plain sad.
The Washington Post reports that the U.S. military plans to request an additional 10,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan -- that's on top of the 21,000 already set to be deployed. According to Gen. David Petraeus, the request comes from American military commanders and has not yet been sent to the White House. If approved, it would bring the total U.S. military force in Afghanistan to 78,000. (And that doesn't include contractors.)
The Post breaks it down:
The U.S. military has 38,000 troops in Afghanistan, and the number is projected to rise to 68,000 with deployments scheduled for this year. Those deployments include a 4,000-strong contingent of trainers from the 4th brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, 17,000 other combat troops, a 2,800-strong combat aviation brigade and thousands of support forces whose placement was not publicly announced, the Pentagon said.
Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.