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US' Troop Numbers Far Exceed Russia's in Afghanistan

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posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 10:40 AM

Obama Is Leading the U.S. Into a Hellish Quagmire

If you don't ever ready ANY OTHER article about Afghanistan, you should read THIS one. (not mine, the one linked below)

America now has more military personnel in Afghanistan than the Red Army had at the peak of the Soviet invasion and occupation of that country. According to a Congressional Research Service report, as of March of this year, the U.S. had 52,000 uniformed personnel and another 68,000 contractors in Afghanistan -- a number that has likely grown given the blank check President Obama has written for what's now being called "Obama's War."

Link to Source

That makes 120,000 American military personnel fighting in Afghanistan, a figure higher than the Soviet peak troop figure of 115,000 during their catastrophic 9-year war. Just this week, General McChrystal, whom Obama appointed to command American forces in Afghanistan, is talking ofsending tens of thousands more American troops. At the height of the Soviet occupation,Western intelligence experts estimated that the Soviets had 115,000 troops in Afghanistan -- but like America, the more troops and the longer the Soviets stayed, the more doomed their military mission became.


Call it "Afghanistan Syndrome": Twenty years ago, Afghanistan was Russia's "Vietnam"; today, Afghanistan is becoming America's "Afghanistan." Obama is walking into this disaster like one of the doomed victims from the Scream series: everyone, including the protagonists, knows that it's going to be a disaster, everyone's seen the script so many times they can recite it from heart. And yet Obama's leading the nation into the trap all over again. And Obama can't even be compared to LBJ, who at least managed to give millions of Americans Medicare. What will Obama's legacy be? The PPIP program? Protecting AIG's bonuses?

I am senseless after this one. My brain is mush and I want to just curl up in a ball.
Please take the time to read the whole article. I don't want to out my own spin on it. It's just not needed and would certainly detract from what this article means.

Afghanistan is ugly. There are more US military there NOW than what the Soviets had there during THEIR PEAK.

Afghanistan was the catalyst for the fall of the Soviet empire. It's poised to be the same for us.

Please, just read it.

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 11:06 AM
Define contractors?

The article says That makes 120,000 American military personnel fighting in Afghanistan, Are contractors military personnel?

Are contractors fighting?

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by jam321

I don't think all of the contractor's are 'fighting.'....but not all of the American Troops are 'fighting.'

Contractors are guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and are probably more in 'security', 'support' or 'advisory' roles, but the same would have been true for the Soviets in Afghanistan.

The heavy reliance on contractors in Afghanistan signals that a situation that defense planners once considered temporary has become a standard fixture of U.S. military operations.

"For a sustained fight like our current commitments, the U.S. military can't go to war without contractors on the battlefield," said Steven Arnold, a former Army general and retired executive at logistics specialists Ecolog USA and KBR Inc. KBR was formerly owned by Halliburton Co. He added, "For that matter, neither can NATO."

That poses a challenge for military planners who must keep tabs on tens of thousands of people who are crucial to their operations yet are civilians outside the chain of command.

WSJ Article

In Congress, there's a particular concern about security contractors who might upset diplomatic and military relationships. "We've had incidents when force has been used, we believe, improperly against citizens by contractors," said Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. "This creates huge problems, obviously, for those who have been injured or killed and their families, but it also creates huge problems for us and our policies in Afghanistan."

Many contractors in Afghanistan are likely to face combat-like conditions, particularly those manning far-flung outposts, and are exposed to possible militant attacks -- blurring the line between soldier and support staff.

So yeah...'contractors' ARE fighting...not all of them, certainly, but the main point of contention for me is the gross misrepresentation of the numbers regarding personnel deployment in theaters of operations these days.

They will tell us that there are only fifty thousand troops in Afghanistan, when the numbers of contractors, performing the same jobs that 'troops' would be makes the figure doubled, or higher.

We're pulling the 'troops' out of Iraq, but they don't really play up the fact that there are still a hundred thousand 'contractors' there...armed...working for the U.S.

To me, you can call a soldier anything you like, but if you are being PAID by the U.S. and you have a weapon, and you are in another country, that counts as military personnel. If you're guarding an embassy, guarding a supply convoy, guarding a base, then you're military. If it supports the military, then it IS military.

Do you think we should ignore the contractors when we figure troop numbers? (not antagonizing, just want your opinion)

[edit on 4-9-2009 by KSPigpen]

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 11:47 AM
I didn't know there was a limit on troops or time to commit to the fight??

Is there something saying that was can't have more troops in A-stan than the Russians??

Is there something saying that this war can't last longer than WW2???

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by KSPigpen

Do you think we should ignore the contractors when we figure troop numbers? (not antagonizing, just want your opinion) [/quote]

If they're mercenary contractors than yes.

but not all of the American Troops are 'fighting.'

True. But they are military and can be thrown to the front line ASAP.

posted on Sep, 5 2009 @ 06:35 AM
A little overblown to say the least, IMO. I'm retired military and a contractor, having been in both Afghanistan and currently Iraq since March 2004. Yes, the security folks are armed. It would be kinda pointless to have unarmed security people, wouldn't it? This isn't some mall in Podunk USA.

The vast majority like myself, are unarmed regular Joes just doing a job. Or in the case of local or Third country nationals, just trying to earn a living for their families.

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