Number of Troops in Afghanistan Passes Iraq


source: Antiwar   May 25, 2010

Pentagon officials announced today that for the first time since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there are more troops in Afghanistan than Iraq, officially making Afghanistan the ‘Big War’ and Iraq ‘that other war.’

Given President Obama’s campaign pledges to escalate the war in Afghanistan and withdraw from Iraq, it is a wonder that it took over 16 months to reach this point, but a snail’s pace in the Iraq drawdown coupled with logistics problems in the latest Afghanistan escalation conspired to make it a long, difficult road.

Indeed, were it not for the endless surges into Afghanistan this day might never have come at all, as 92,000 troops remain in Iraq and the numbers are still not dropping in any sort of serious way. Rather Obama started with only 30,000 troops in Afghanistan but is rapidly approaching 100,000, with more expected all the time.

Though much was made of the Obama Administration “transitioning” troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, they actually have tens of thousands more troops deployed between the two war zones today than they did when he took office. For the military this means continued strain and more deployments, with no real end in sight

One Response to Number of Troops in Afghanistan Passes Iraq

  1. Ayomiposi says:

    The war in Afghanistan is immoral and stiupd. The Canadian contribution to the occupation of Afghanistan is a waste of money, a waste of Canadian lives and waste of our international reputation. The purpose of the occupation is imperialistic and economic though of no economic benefit to ordinary Canadians. Claims that we are fighting to improve the lives of Afghans, to bring them Western values, or for freedom are simply lies as events on the ground in that benighted country clearly show day after day. We are siding with one faction in a civil war because that group promises the West strategic advantage in the region. We can never truly win, in the popular sense of this phrase. At best we can hold off defeat for a time to preserve what is seen in Washington as the West’s strategic advantage. There is an argument for taking part in this after all, we are being threatened and blackmailed but nowhere is this mentioned in our fundamentally dishonest national debate on this topic. Instead, we get the Conservative government’s nauseating and threatening support our troops propaganda, backed by a craven opposition chorus, and preposterous claims we are fighting them, whoever they are, there, rather than here. In fact, our participation in this war puts Canadian lives at increased risk, at home and abroad. I fear for my children and grandchildren every time I hear of another wedding party bombed or child caught in the crossfire of Canadian bullets. Ultimately, no matter what we do, the people of Afghanistan will drive us out as they always have driven out invaders. The only questions are how long will it take, how many people will have to die pointlessly, and how much suffering must there be here in Canada before it ends? I only hope that, if terrorism comes to Canada as a result of this misguided military occupation, we have the sense not to ask, Why do they hate us?

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