Smaller than expected force in Afghanistan after 2014

| December 12, 2012

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama Administration has decided since his reelection that the force left in Afghanistan after the withdrawal might be smaller than the 15,000 troops that commanders anticipated. Less than half.

The Obama administration plans on keeping 6,000 to 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, fewer than previously reported, and will confine most of them to fortified garrisons near the capital, leaving Afghan troops largely without American advisors in the field to fight a still-powerful insurgency, U.S. officials said.


The U.S. forces that stay behind are likely to operate mainly from Bagram air base, the sprawling installation 25 miles north of Kabul, and a few other bases near the capital. They and a smaller contingent of foreign coalition troops will mostly do small-scale training of Afghan army and police units, said the officials, who described internal discussions on condition of anonymity.

So it looks like they plan to have our troops there solely for support with no real reason of being there other than logistics. And penned up in a nice little shooting gallery for rocket and insider attacks, dependent on the Afghans for security.

The plan already has sparked internal criticism at the Pentagon, where some commanders say more U.S. troops are needed.

“This will significantly limit what can be accomplished,” one official said. He contended that the proposed U.S. force is enough only to provide limited training of Afghans and to protect the U.S. Embassy complex and the presidential palace, both in downtown Kabul, in the event of a major insurgent attack.


“One of the things that Obama and Karzai have always agreed on is the need for a reduced force presence,” a U.S. official said. “I could see them both wanting zero, but at the end of the day I don’t think that will happen.”

Yeah, I don’t think I’d be too happy to leave my fate in the hands of those two bumbling fools depending on the whims of Joe Bite-Me for a strategy. If zero is their number, they should go with it because half-assing troop presence in Afghanistan will only cost more lives needlessly so Obama and Biden can call themselves a war administration.

Category: Terror War

Comments (7)

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  1. MAJ Mike says:

    Why are any troops needed? After 10 plus years, we’ve done enough.

  2. martinjmpr says:

    Sounds like they are trying to set up a Bosnia-style arrangement, i.e. put your troops in the middle of the war zone, confine them to the base and see to it that their primary mission is to protect themselves. Which is pretty pointless but hey, it results in fewer casualties so there’s that.

  3. Chip@NASA says:

    I’m good with that.
    If they need assistance hereon in, Drones.

  4. David says:

    Chip – I thought “drones” described Obama and Biden….

  5. Twist says:

    Great idea, leave a few troops to act as targets. sarc/

  6. dnice says:

    Isn’t this what Rumsfeld advocated for originally- small footprint with mainly special forces? I’m not getting out the pom-poms for Rummy – just saying. You could have put a million troops in ‘Stan but with Osama in ‘Stan and op forces coming in from Pakistan it would not have mattered.

    I guess the danger is that this reverts back to whackamole.

    However, isn’t the small footprint approach what we do in the Philippines and Colombia? Don’t we then increase our presence if there are “flare-ups”?

  7. ChopIT says:

    What a great time to be a Navy supply officer… the Army loves bringing us over for extended visits… (sarcasm alert!)