Sunday, December 7, 2014

U.S. Troop Levels in 2015

According to recent news reports the troop levels originally planned for Afghanistan will be exceeded. Plans had been for the United States to be at or below 9,800 total troops by January 1, 2015. However a few developments have transpired to change that number. It now appears that the troop number ceiling of 9,800 will be exceeded by about 1,000 for at least several months. One reason is that the Europeans (for whatever reason) have not yet made the necessary coordination to deploy the troops they were on the hook for in a timely manner. While the Europeans are certainly going to continue their commitment to Afghanistan, it will be in reduced numbers. Another factor is that the Obama administration is reeling from its mistakes with Syria and Iraq and is now worried about the same thing happening in Afghanistan post-2014. Still further is the extension of the fighting season by the Taliban, the current spate of high-profile attacks in Kabul, the resilience of the Taliban in rural areas, and the heavy losses suffered by the ANSF during this past fighting season.

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