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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

November 26, 2009

AF-PAK MATH


Just over 100,000 US and allied European troops plus 200,000 Afghan security forces and police have not been able to defeat 25,000 Taliban. Why adding another 30,000 will make any difference is not clear. Incidentally, the administration's other target, Al Qaeda, is a force too small to be shown on this chart. There are less than 100 of them in Afghanistan according to retired general James Jones.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't understand Washington math. 30,000 is more. Committing to more of something that's failing is what's needed. It doesn't matter whether it's fighting peasant farmers in Central Asia, or 'stimulating' the economy. Paul Krugman can explain the theory.

November 27, 2009 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Paul Tullis said...

C'mon, Sam, you know better than this. The # of Taliban is not fixed (altho it's likely to grow with more US troops in country). The Afghan security forces have fluctuating loyalties and widely varying readiness. And conventional wisdom on fighting an insurgency is it takes 10x the troops to suppress.

November 30, 2009 1:55 PM  

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