Posted tagged ‘Troops’

13,000 More US Troops to Afghanistan

October 13, 2009

President Barack Obama is deploying an extra 13,000 troops to Afghanistan, a move that is separate from a request for even more reinforcements.

From The Guardian:

The extra 13,000 is part of a gradual shift in priority since Obama became president away from Iraq to Afghanistan.

The White House and the Pentagon both announced earlier this year that the number of US troops in Afghanistan was to be raised by 21,000, bringing the total at present to 62,000, with the aim of 68,000 by the end of the year.

But the Washington Post, based on conversations with Pentagon officials, said that on top of those an extra 13,000 “enablers” are also being deployed. They are mainly engineers, medical staff, intelligence officers and military police. About 3,000 of them are specialists in explosives, being sent to try to combat the growing fatality rate from roadside bombs.

The deployment of such non-combat troops is in line with the professed aim of the new US commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to try to win the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan population.

General Warns About Failure in Afghanistan

September 21, 2009

According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the United States top commander in Afghanistan warns that more troops are needed there within the next year or the nearly 8-year-old war “will likely result in failure”.

From CNN:

“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible,” U.S. and NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in the document, according to the Post.

Bob Woodward of the Post — who wrote the article — called it “a striking thing for a general to say to the secretary of defense and the commander-in-chief.”

McChrystal “really takes his finger and puts it in their eye, ‘Deliver or this won’t work,'” Woodward told CNN’s “American Morning” on Monday. “He says if they don’t endorse this full counterinsurgency strategy, don’t even give me the troops because it won’t work.”

The document was “leaked” to the newspaper, but parts were omitted after consultations between the newspaper and the Department of Defense, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

“While we would have much preferred none of this be made public at this time, we appreciate the paper’s willingness to edit out those passages, which would likely have endangered personnel and operations in Afghanistan,” Morrell said in a statement.

My Thoughts on the 2008 Presidential Election…

November 6, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Election will go down in history as one of the greatest, and most important elections of all time. I was proud to have been a part of this election and that I got out and made my voice heard. I have not seen this much PASSION involved in American politics by our generation, ever! This election was our election! The passion didn’t only come from Democrats who were tired of the Bush Presidency, it also came from Republicans who had strong beliefs and fought to preserve them.

No matter which side you are on, if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Red State, Blue State….always stand up for what you believe in! Some people may agree with you, some may strongly disagree with you. Some may start a heated debate, or others may calmly discuss their differences. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you voiced your opinion and stood up for what you believe in.

We have a right in this country to say and do what we want (to a certain extent) and we must never forget this. There are too many out there who take this right for granted. In many other years, we have sat back and watched what happened, while not taking our own stand. I was proud of both Democrats and Republicans for getting out and making a difference.

One point I want to make is this: Don’t forget to support our troops. I’ve heard those who say that we can now leave Iraq and bring the troops home tomorrow. Or others who go as far as saying “forget the troops and Iraq”. To those people I say, you’re not thinking clearly. You’re letting your heart cloud your judgment. Yes, we want all of our troops to come home safely, but if it takes time, then so be it. You can not leave a job half finished. Even if you believe we should not have even started the job, you still have to finish it.

Our troops are all over the world. They’re out there putting their lives in danger to protect our rights as Americans and our country. Even if you voted for Obama (like I did), or if you disagree with the war in Iraq (I know a lot of these people too), don’t turn your back on them. Yes, you have the right to disagree, but remember that they are overseas doing a job, and working to make our lives, and the lives of the Iraqi people, better.

There may have been no weapons of mass destruction, and we may not have caught Bin Laden yet, but the difference they are making in our lives is very important. Do not forget this.

This election will bring great debate between people of all sides. Just remember this, when you do argue with each other, try to be civil. Listen to what the other side has to say.

Democrats, for eight years you wanted change and now we’ll see what you make of your opportunity.

Republicans, for eight years, the Democrats wanted change. Now they have the chance to do something. I’m sure you’ll be demanding change as they did for so many years. But let’s at least give them a chance.

One thing that both Democrats and Republicans have in common is that in their hearts, they truly want what they feel is best for the country.

So to finish my rant I say…Thank You America. Thank you to both Republicans and Democrats, for coming out and making your voice heard. This is what makes America great. We may have our differences, and we will ALWAYS have differences, but we showed in 2008 that we still care about the United States and what we fought for more than 200 years ago when we began this great nation.

Thanks for listening. Feel free to give your own thoughts.

Bush Considers Troop Cuts in Iraq

September 6, 2008

Yes, you heard that right. (Just before the election?) The top U.S. general in Iraq is recommending nearly 8,000 troop cuts in Iraq because of the improving situation there.

Joseph Barrak / AFP/Getty Images

Credit: Joseph Barrak / AFP/Getty Images

From CNN:

President Bush is considering Gen. David Petraeus’ recommendation, which the official said is for a reduction of “well over 7,500 personnel,” with the number including combat and support troops.

Some units would leave Iraq over the next five months as they complete their missions. But the first possible significant reduction — an army brigade combat team — would leave without replacement early next year, said the official, and that would free a brigade to be rotated to Afghanistan instead of Iraq.

Petraeus gave his recommendation to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who have passed it and other recommendations along to the president.

A reduction in U.S. troops in Iraq would free up personnel for deployment to Afghanistan, a move urged by many commanders. The Taliban has stepped up its fight in that country, posing a challenge for the 33,000 U.S. troops deployed there.

The White House will not comment on the details of the Iraq recommendations. Spokeswoman Dana Perino said only that Bush “has received the assessment and recommendation from the Pentagon and he is considering his options.”

From the Los Angeles Times:

Under the recommendation, the current level of about 140,000 troops would remain in Iraq through the end of Bush’s presidency in January. Then, a combat brigade of about 3,500 troops would be removed by February, a senior Pentagon official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the recommendation has not been made public.

The move would represent a compromise between Petraeus and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, comprising the uniformed heads of the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. The Joint Chiefs had hoped for a sharper cut — of up to 10,000 troops — by the end of the year. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, had pushed to keep 140,000 troops, or 15 combat brigades and support personnel, until next June.

US Troops in Iraq Until 2015?

August 28, 2008

According to reports, the United States asked Iraq for permission to maintain a troop presence there to 2015, but US and Iraqi negotiators agreed to limit their authorization only through 2011.

From Reuters:

“It was a U.S. proposal for the date which is 2015, and an Iraqi one which is 2010, then we agreed to make it 2011. Iraq has the right, if necessary, to extend the presence of these troops,” Talabani said in an interview with al-Hurra television, a transcript of which was posted on his party’s website on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that, while overall negotiations continued, the two sides had accepted the end of 2011 as an end date for the presence of the approximately 145,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

U.S. officials stress that no final agreement has been made. A final deal will need to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.

U.S. officials in Baghdad were not immediately available for comment.