Tuesday, January 13, 2009

3,000 US forces coming to Kandahar?

Further to this post on the American construction binge in the south, a detail concerning Kandahar:
U.S. Construction in Afghanistan Sign of Long Commitment
Also on Dec. 3, bids for what could become a $100 million contract were put out for three projects at the Kandahar airfield to house up to 3,000 U.S. soldiers...
Or Marines? At the same time:
Afghan Conflict Will Be Reviewed
Obama Sees Troops As Buying Time, Not Turning Tide

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like "surge" of forces will significantly change the direction of a conflict that has steadily deteriorated over the past seven years.

Instead, Obama's national security team expects that the new deployments, which will nearly double the current U.S. force of 32,000 (alongside an equal number of non-U.S. NATO troops), will help buy enough time for the new administration to reappraise the entire Afghanistan war effort and develop a comprehensive new strategy for what Obama has called the "central front on terror."..
Update: Paul Wells of Maclean's magazine comments on these two stories:
Afghanistan: The long haul?
Obama will have his “ask” ready to present to his allies, by the latest accounts, in time for the NATO summit in France in April. I’m not sure I would recommend that Canada’s prime minister spend the time between now and then issuing confusing, contradictory, veiled, passive-aggressive pronouncements that neither reveal nor permit careful thinking on the future of Canada’s largest fighting military deployment since Korea. Unless I wanted to seem prescient.


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