Afghanistan troop build up

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US Sends 1,400 More Marines to Afghanistan

Aim to kick Taliban while they're down

(Newser) - In a surprise move, the Pentagon has decided to send another 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan, putting a cherry on top of the US troop surge before July’s scheduled troop withdrawals. The battalions should be in place by mid-January, and will be concentrated around Kandahar, officials tell the Wall ... More »

3 US Troops Killed in Afghan Fighting

At least 10 have died this month

(Newser) - Three US servicemembers were killed in battle in southern Afghanistan today, the latest casualties of the escalated fighting in the region that's accompanied President Obama's troop surge. NATO said the men died in an engagement with the enemy, but gave no further details. Earlier today, authorities said another servicemember and... More »

General: Brace for Thousands of GI Casualties

McCaffrey predicts Afghan spring offensive will take heavy toll

(Newser) - America should prepare for thousands of casualties when the beefed-up US force in Afghanistan begins its spring offensive against the Taliban, warns a retired general and military expert. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an analyst who has visited the war zone several times, predicts US casualties will rise to as many as... More »

Afghanistan '09 Twice as Deadly as Iraq for US

Military expects further rise in casualties

(Newser) - This has been the first year since the Iraq war began that more Americans troops were killed in Afghanistan than Iraq, and next year is expected to be even worse. Some 319 American troops have died in Afghanistan this year, compared with 148 for Iraq, USA Today reports. More »

US Death Toll in Afghanistan Doubles Over '08

310 have died so far; experts think surge will worsen losses

(Newser) - A bomb has killed the 310th US soldier to die in Afghanistan this year, making the total number of 2009 casualties exactly twice that of the 155 lost in 2008. And though this has been the deadliest year of the war for the US, military officials tell the AFP that... More »

McChrystal: We'll Know by This Time Next Year

General says troop surge should show results within a year

(Newser) - The US should know by this time next year whether the troop buildup in Afghanistan worked, Stanley McChrystal told the House Armed Services panel today, though he cautioned that there was no easy road to success. "The sober fact is that there are no silver bullets," he said.... More »

Obama's Long Road to Afghan Strategy

Prez was relentless in analyzing every angle

(Newser) - Amid cries of "dithering" and the silent finality of Arlington's rows of white tombstones, President Obama calmly, analytically, and exhaustively reviewed all options in Afghanistan before finally announcing to his team on Nov. 29 that he would send in 30,000 more troops. The New York Times retraces the... More »

'Muslim President' Hates Charlie Brown: Tenn. Mayor

Obama's West Point speech forced postponement of Christmas special

(Newser) - President Obama's speech on the Afghanistan troop buildup bumped the annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, really ticking off the mayor of Arlington, Tenn. He apparently hasn't heard that nothing is private on Facebook, where he vented about TV scheduling: "Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit... More »

NATO Commits 7K More Troops

Britain, Italy, Poland, Slovakia are in; France and Germany mum

(Newser) - NATO answered President Obama's call for reinforcements in Afghanistan today with a pledge to provide 7,000 more troops. The NATO secretary-general, speaking at a press conference, didn't say where the troops will come from, but Britain has already offered 500, and Italy, Poland, Georgia, and Slovakia will each deploy... More »

Left, Right Assail Obama Plan

GOP faults timetable; Dems fault surge itself

(Newser) - There was a bipartisan show of unity after President Obama’s speech tonight on Afghanistan—though hardly the unity Obama was looking for, as negative reaction echoed from his leftmost supporters to his rightmost critics. The 30,000-troop buildup irked Democrats, the Wall Street Journal reports, despite Obama pairing that... More »

Speech, Afghan Reality Don't Quite Match

Allies may not help; Afghan troops ineffective even if trained

(Newser) - President Obama’s speech tonight “raised expectations that may be hard to meet,” AP analysts Calvin Woodward and Robert Burns write, citing conditions in Afghanistan that don’t match Obama’s rhetoric:
  • US allies will add troops: In fact, this has always been a tough sell, and even
... More »

Obama to Send 30K Troops; Home By 2011

President explains US troop surge at West Point

(Newser) - Saying that “Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards,” President Obama explained his decision tonight to send 30,000 more US troops there. Speaking at the US Military Academy in West Point, NY, he told the cadets in the audience, “I owe... More »

Troop Surge Number? 34K

With NATO troops, total close to McChrystal request

(Newser) - The Washington Post has—or thinks it has—the much anticipated number of troops President Obama will deploy to Afghanistan, and it's 34,000. That, combined with 5,000 he's said to be seeking from NATO allies, brings the total within shooting distance of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for 40,... More »

Obama to Unveil Afghan Endgame

30K troop boost may go down easier with exit talk

(Newser) - When President Obama announces his planned boost in US troops in Afghanistan tomorrow, he'll also reveal his exit outline, according to administration sources. "He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down," an insider told... More »

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