An Official Buildup, Hopefully with a Purpose

by Joshua Foust on 11/22/2008 · 1 comment

So, it’s official: “well north of” 20,000 new troops for Afghanistan by 2010 or so. Four combat brigades and an aviation brigade will bring more troops for securing the tenuous holds we have there, and even allow for the provision of air power (with luck, along Route 1 from Ghazni through Zabul—a route so easy to secure from the air the Soviets never lost control of it during the 1980s).

Even better news is, most of the troops are set to go to the East, an incredibly violent yet ignored region in the country (the vast majority of media attention focuses on the south). Of course, the “Surge” rhetoric still applies, so there is no way to tell if there will be any coordination, any “surge” in the embedded trainers (who are incredibly effective), or any concerted effort to mesh western forces and ANSF.

One last hope: maybe now incoming brigades can be ordered to go out on patrol and execute COIN methods, instead of the current situation where they get to choose whether or not to.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Blazingsuth November 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I was under the impression that the East was very much the focal point of operations in 2004 and 2005. I’m not sure if that’s just what I was focused on at that time, or if Coalition Forces in general were focused in that direction as well. What did reports from that time period look like?

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