London’s Daily Telegraph reports: U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has approved 500 more troops to Afghanistan with the assurance that the Obama Administration will soon approve another Afghan Surge.
James Kirkup and Andrew Hough at The Daily Telegraph report: “President Barack Obama’s administration is understood to have told the British government that it could announce, as early as next week, the substantial increase to its 65,000 troops already serving there.”
This comes on the day it’s reported U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown approves sending 500 more British troops to collaborate within the U.S-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) occupying Afghanistan, after recently turning down a military request for an additional 2,000 troops.
The White House Newspeak directors have denied that Mr. Obama has made a decision as to whether or not the U.S. presence will be increased, but it’s been expected as the foreign policy end of Mr. Obama’s historically successful presidential campaign was built on exponentially escalating the occupation. With 68,000 combat troops scheduled to be present in Afghanistan by the end of 2009, the Administration has already ‘silently’ approved the deployment of an additional 13,000 occupation troops.
U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, top ISAF commander, has reportedly requested over 60,000 more U.S. troops in the near-term. Military sources have said 500,000 ‘boots on the ground’ are necessary to prevent “mission failure”, which—including the Afghan Security Force—I estimated on September 27 would require 200,000 ISAF troops, at the very least. David Rittgers at The Cato Institute stated that same number on “The Lou Dobbs Show” at CNN, Wednesday evening. (Maybe, he’s reading this…)
With Administration officials saying the assumption that the existence of a withdrawal option in the White House so-called ‘debate’ is a “straw man argument” and one official stating to The New York Times, “There is no option that includes a drastic reduction in troops,” a massive deployment of U.S. troops should be expected to be announced when the Administration feels its short-term political capital can afford the hit.
On another note, I suggest watching the debate between Mr. Rittgers and Steven Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations (C.F.R.), who is a member of Gen. McChrystal’s assessment team. Mr. Biddle’s amoral Realpolitik assessment after weighing the risk of escalation with the cost and perceived ‘benefit’ chance, concludes that adding troops is a “close call”, as he testified before Congress earlier that day. A “close call” from someone directly attached to the McChrystal Report should be weighted to translate into a virtually lost cause. (Mr. Biddle discussed Afghanistan on Fareed Zakaria GPS at CNN last Sunday with C.F.R. President Richard Haass, who’s declared that Afghanistan is a “war of choice”, not a “war of necessity”. Mr. Biddle did not refute this pushing extraordinarily lightly for another troop surge.)
The Af-Pak War is costing the broke-joke U.S. $3.6bn per month along with the recent approval for a $209m embassy in Kabul. Though, military recruiting has surged at historic levels in the first year of the Obama Administration, turning Afghanistan into a mathematical equation is disgusting. Human beings are not expendable material entities. Lives need to be brought home, not increasingly exploited as cannon fodder to kill, die, torture and be tortured.