• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

A Larger Afghan Army

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak spoke at a forum last month organized by the Center for a New American Security. He wanted sustained American support for the Afghan National Army, which, he noted, was growing its end-strength ahead of schedule. “We will reach 86,000 by March 21,” Wardak said, a mile marker along the way to a goal of “134,000, two years ahead of schedule, [by] 2013.” Wardak declined to predict when his plus-sized army would be ready to independently secure the population.

The Obama administration, according to The New York Times, is going to give Wardak more than what he said he wanted — a force ultimately sized at 400,000 soldiers. Building, training and equipping a competent army of that size is an enormous task. For perspective, the active-duty U.S. Army is presently around 514,000 soldiers. Understandably, The Times reports there’s some sticker shock:

[E]ven members of Mr. Obama’s national security team appeared taken aback by the cost projections of the program, which range from $10 billion to $20 billion over the next six or seven years.

By comparison, the annual budget for the entire Afghan government, which is largely provided by the United States and other international donors, is about $1.1 billion, which means the annual price of the program would be about twice the cost of operating the government of President Hamid Karzai.

The takeaway from that shouldn’t simply be that the program is expensive. It should be that the security challenges in Afghanistan are so immense that a massive Afghan army is necessary. In the absence of an army like that, there are two alternatives: send way more American and NATO troops than in the recent plus-up; or begin a withdrawal — and if you withdraw without competent indiginous security forces, you’re inviting a vaccuum to be filled by the insurgency. The Times quotes Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as saying “The cost is relatively small compared to the cost of not doing it — of having Afghanistan either disintegrate, or fall into the hands of the Taliban, or look as though we are dominating it.”

What The Times doesn’t report — probably because the Obama administration doesn’t know — is how long it will take to go from 86,000 troops to 400,000. If it’ll take until 2011 (and supposed to take until 2013) to get to 134,000, is it safe to assume that five more years is a conservative estimate to reach the new goal? Indeed, a question worth asking is whether there’s a danger in trying to train too many troops too quickly, since the experience in Iraq with the training mission should have instructed the United States in the folly of throwing people into uniform with a few weeks of training and calling them an army. For all the talk about the length of the Iraq war, which enters its seventh year today, the Obama administration has evidently decided that the Afghanistan war will grind on for much longer.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.