Friday, September 25, 2009
How many troops does McChrystal want?
If you were going to leak sensitive government information, why go to Andrea Mitchell before she goes on Joe Scarborough? Anyway, here is the new revelation from the McChrystal report, according to Mitchell:
"The numbers are really pretty horrifying. What they say, embedded in this report by McChrystal, is they would need 500,000 troops - boots on the ground - and five years to do the job. No one expects that the Afghan Army could step up to that. Are we gonna put even half that of U.S. troops there, and NATO forces? No way."
Now, in fairness to McChrystal, he wants to speed up military training to get the Afghanistan armed forces up to 240,000 in the next five years. But that is optimistic- even the government only claims that 90,000 local troops are trained now, and their performance has been questionable. The question remains, even if 240,000 troops to get trained, where are the rest coming from?
In the coming weeks, you'll hear about the need for "a few thousand" new advisors. Or 10,000 more troops. Or 10,000-45,000 new troops. Or 500,000 - X, X being the number of illiterate people we train to shoot guns at their tribal enemies. Haven't we all seen this movie before, and why are we going to watch it again?