Afghanistan by the Numbers: Measuring a War Gone to Hell
Continued from previous page
Number of additional troops General McChrystal is expected to recommend that President Obama send to Afghanistan in the coming months: 21,000 to 45,000, according to the McClatchy Newspapers; 10,000 to 15,000 ("described as a high-risk option"), 25,000 ("a medium-risk option"), 45,000 ("a low-risk option"), according to the New York Times ; fewer than 10,000, according to the Associated Press.
Number of support troops Defense Department officials are planning to replace with "trigger-pullers" (combat troops) in the coming months, effectively an escalation in place: 6,000-14,000. ("The changes will not offset the potential need for additional troops in the future, but could reduce the size of any request... officials said.")
Number of additional NATO forces General McChrystal will reportedly ask for: 20,000.
Optimal number of additional Afghan National Army (ANA) troops to be trained by 2012, according to reports on General McChrystal's draft plan: 162,000. ( According to Naval Postgraduate School professor Thomas H. Johnson and retired Foreign Service officer M. Chris Mason,"[T]he U.S. military touts 91,000 ANA soldiers as 'trained and equipped,' knowing full well that barely 39,000 are still in the ranks and present for duty.")
Percentage of Americans opposed to the war in Afghanistan: 57%, according to the latest CNN poll, an 11% rise since April. Only 42% now support the war.
Percentage of Americans who approve of President's Obama's handling of the war: 48%, according to the latest CBS poll, a drop of 8 points since April. (Support for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan is now at just 25%, down 14% from April.)
Percentage of British who feel their forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan: 59%.
Percentage of Germans opposed to that country's 4,000 troop commitment to Afghanistan: More than 70%.
The Presidential Election
Estimated cost of staging the 2009 Afghan presidential election: $500 million.
Number of complaints of voting irregularities: More than 2,500 and still climbing, 691 of them described as "serious charges."
Cost of blank voting-registration cards in Ghazni Province in May 2009: $200 for 200 blank registration cards.
Cost of such a card purchased by "an undercover Afghan journalist working for the BBC" this fall: $8.
Number of voter registration cards (not including fakes) reportedly distributed countrywide: 17 million or almost twice the estimated number of eligible voters.
Number of ballots cast at the Hajji Janat Gul High School polling place, half an hour from the center of Kabul: 600.
Number of votes recorded for Karzai at that polling station: 996. (Number of votes for other candidates: 5.)
Number of ballots marked for Karzai and shipped to Kabul from 45 polling sites in Shorabak District in Southern Afghanistan that were shut down by local officials connected to Karzai before voting could begin: 23,900.
Number of fake polling sites set up by backers of Karzai where no one voted but hundreds of thousands of votes were recorded: as many as 800, according to the New York Times . (Another 800 actual polling sites were taken over by Karzai supporters "to fraudulently report tens of thousands of additional ballots for Mr. Karzai.")
Number of ballots in Karzai's home province, Kandahar, where an estimated 25,000 Afghans actually voted, submitted to be counted: approximately 350,000.
Number of military contractors hired by the Pentagon in Afghanistan by the end of June 2009: Almost 74,000, nearly two-thirds of them local hires, a 9% rise over the previous three months.