45,000 More Troops Needed?

Chilling news from Afghanistan: Anthony Cordesman, a top U.S. academic and adviser to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, writes in the Times of London that in order to win in Afghanistan, the U.S. should add “anywhere from three to nine brigades above the 21,000 additional forces that President Obama approved in the spring of 2009.” The latter figure represents an additional 45,000 troops. Cordesman says that Afghanistan must also nearly double its own forces from 134,000 to 240,000. He writes, “The insurgents may have lost virtually every military clash, but they have expanded their areas of influence from 30 of Afghanistan’s 364 districts in 2003 to some 160 districts by the end of 2008, while insurgent attacks increased by 60 percent between October 2008 and April 2009 alone.”