21 September 2012

Surge in Afghanistan? Not Anymore!

As per the DoD, the surge is over. Secretary Panetta states:

“This week, the ongoing effort in Afghanistan marked an important milestone: the United States military has completed drawing down the surge forces President Obama committed in December of 2009, reducing our presence by 33,000 troops on schedule. As we reflect on this moment, it is an opportunity to recognize that the surge accomplished its objectives of reversing Taliban momentum on the battlefield, and dramatically increased the size and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This growth has allowed us and our ISAF Coalition partners to begin the process of transition to Afghan security lead, which will soon extend across every province and more than 75 percent of the Afghan population. At the same time, we have struck enormous blows against al Qaeda's leadership, consistent with our core goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda and denying it a safe-haven.

“It is important to underscore that even as our surge troops return home, there are roughly 68,000 Americans who remain in a tough fight in Afghanistan, alongside their NATO and Afghan partners. We are a nation at war. But the international community is also strongly united behind our shared strategy to transition to Afghan security control, which will be completed by the end of 2014.”

Many of the troops are working their way out of Afghanistan.
Just days ago, Pentagon figures showed there were 70,000 American troops in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, Australian Brig. Gen. Roger Noble, the deputy operations chief for NATO in Afghanistan, refused to pinpoint for Pentagon reporters when exactly the "surge recovery" would be completed. Noble said "not many more" surge troops remained to leave Afghanistan and that the goal of reaching 68,000 by Oct. 1 was "very, very close." He added that the timing was "very dependent on strategic lift, weather - and they change daily by sort of hundreds, if you know what I mean. " Noble was referring to the last remaining troops that were still awaiting their flights out of Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. There has also been a significant reduction in military equipment that matches the reduction in troops. Lt. Gen. John Terry, the commander of ISAF Joint Command, told Pentagon reporters that half of the 60,000 pieces of rolling stock and another 30,000 containers had already been shipped out of Afghanistan. Many of the surge troops were sent to southern Afghanistan to fight the Taliban in its strongholds. As troops pushed into areas long controlled by the Taliban, the number of U.S. and NATO casualties began to rise.

By: Brant

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