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From invasion to occupation

These two charts represent the best description of troop and contractor strength in Iraq and Afghanistan that we have been able to compile based on highly scattered and frequently not precise information. It is good enough, however, to illustrate a number of key points:

Obama has significantly drawn down our presence in Iraq.

He has not done so significantly - nor will he, based on his current promises - in Afghanistan. Note that his planned draw-down won't even match the now little mentioned surge of troops at the beginning of his presidency.

It is fair to describe the shift in both cases as a move from invasion to occupation.

Put in historical perspective, the Iraq deployment was, at its peak the second largest for the U.S. since 1950, matched only by Vietnam. Afghanistan comes in third place.

The current reduced Iraq and planned reduced Afghanistan deployment are each roughly tied with our precence in Italy at the peak of the Cold War - though the Soviet Union was generally considered a greater threat than Al Qeda.