How many troops will be in Afghanistan after 2014?

| January 9, 2013 | 11 Comments

So, the discussion isn’t about how to end the war in Afghanistan with a victory these days, it’s about how many troops we will leave behind when the Administration unilaterally ends the war against terrorists. Retired general McChrystal says that there should be an “enduring force” in Afghanistan;

“We have an emotional responsibility,” McChrystal said of Afghanistan in an interview with The Associated Press. He commanded forces there before resigning over a controversial magazine article.

“We created expectations after 2001 in people” that the U.S. would be there to keep the country from sliding back into the chaos of the Taliban years, McChrystal said.

The Washington Post reports that some in the Administration are calling for a smaller force than anyone has discussed in the recent past;

As the debate over the size and scope of the post-2014 coalition mission nears its end, some in the administration are pressing for a force that could be as small as 2,500, arguing that a light touch would be the most constructive way to cap the costly, unpopular war.

Those troop levels are significantly lower than what some senior military officials have advocated, arguing that a sudden disengagement could lead to the collapse of a frail state and the onset of a new civil war. The low number also is a far cry from figures in the 10,000-to-30,000 range discussed among NATO allies and some U.S. officials as recently as a year ago

Yeah, a force that small wouldn’t be there for anything except a trip wire, that’s not even enough people to provide their own security. So that’s probably the plan they’ll choose. ABC News reports the best option is also being discussed – no troops in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon’s view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces.

“We wouldn’t rule out any option,” including zero troops, Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday.

Since the Obama Administration has no intention of winning a war in Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world, they might as well completely withdraw the troops and they shoudl wait until next year. Pull the carpet out from under Karzai in the morning – in fact tomorrow is too late.

Category: Terror War

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  1. Richard says:

    “an emotional responsibility”? I thought McChrystal was supposed to be one of the military intellects of our age?

    I like the idea of leaving no troops behind. Makes it easier to follow the Ripley plan: lift off and nuke the entire site from orbit…

  2. CI says:

    The number should be somewhere around zero. The fight against a rural insurgency doesn’t warrant a force of current levels, and much smaller would be exactly what Jonn terms it…a tripwire.

    It’s long past time to pull everybody out and reforge our energy and resources against the terrorist groups.

  3. USMCE8Ret says:

    Should the administration elect to leave a scant 2,500 service-members in AFG, then I feel for whatever contingent finds themselves over there after the pullout. It will be akin to sitting on a powder keg waiting to go off for them.

    “An emotional responsibility” says McChrystal. Sounds to me like a touchy-feely response, but there’s been a lot of that going around lately. He goes on to say, “We created expectations after 2001 in people.” Yeah, we did. That expectation was called “winning the war”.

  4. LostBoys says:

    @1 You’re right; I read that “emotional responsibility” line several times and still have no idea what that means. If I promise to feel bad when I leave Afghanistan, can I come home now?

  5. Twist says:

    “emotional responsibility”, I forsee death by powerpoint in my near future. Pretty soon I’m going to have to brain dump important things like the NCO creed in order to fit all the hippie crap they push into my head.

  6. Reaperman says:

    We still have 28,000 in korea–granted there are some important differences there. Could always be worse–they could draw down to 2500 *and* release the guantanamo bay detainees back to there. Oh wait, we’ll probably be reading about that before too long as well.

  7. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    “Emotional responsibility” is exactly why he was the wrong man for the job in the first place. No doubt a good warrior, but we have to stop pretending that a small occupation force can rebuild an entire stone age nation into a 3rd world ally. That’s not ever going to happen. Since we have already decided to leave there is little chance that this nation will self stabilize and allow Karzai to rule. It’s more likely a great opportunity for jihadists to sit tight, marshal forces, consider strategies, and implement a civil war designed to bring him down after we leave.

    If the jihadists are patient they will realize that much like South Vietnam we have no intention of sticking around to help our “ally” rule. 2,500 sacrificial lambs (even armed to the teeth) will do little to stabilize this sh1thole, or as Jonn points out barely be able to provide their own security.

    Under this circumstance zero troops is more appropriate. Let’s just not allow the president to bandy about his views on what’s happening, let’s keep it focused on reality and make him admit he is abandoning Afghanistan to its’ own demons and that’s it. Let’s not pretend when we leave that some great nation building mission has successfully taken place.

    Because if that is how it plays out, the reality is you can call this a complete and utter waste of time, energy, and lives for an outcome that will put in place the very people we have spent 10 years trying to eliminate.

    I hope to be proven wrong, time will reveal the truth.

  8. NHSparky says:

    How many in the ‘Stan after 2014?

    Hopefully zero. Fuck that POS Karzai.

  9. Twist says:

    I’d love to say that Karzai will get what he deserves, but after we leave he will be living comfortably in exile somewhere with all our taxpayer dollars he has funneled to himself.

  10. Stacy0311 says:

    Maybe if we pulled our troops out of KFOR and MFO, we’d have enough to station some in Afghanistan

  11. SkrtSkwrl says:

    You guys are missing the point, numbers are ALWAYS smoke and mirrors. How many troops IN AFG vs how many have ORDERS in AFG are 2 very surprising numbers. Plenty of people I know are getting orders to one place and then low and behold they’re TDY somewhere else.

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