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Levin: Why Focus So Much on Troop Levels?

There are two ways to read this quote that Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) gave to Josh Rogin:

The troop numbers are only one piece of a much larger set of policy adjustments, Levin said, including more trainers, more equipment, and more support for Afghan forces.

“The media has been focusing on [troop numbers] like it’s the public option or something,” said Levin. “It’s going to be a much more comprehensive recommendation.”

The first interpretation is that we shouldn’t focus so much on troop levels. Which is like whhaaaaaa…? Of course everyone’s going to focus on troop levels; it’s a war out there in Afghanistan. It’s appropriate for journalists to spend our time reporting on troop levels — not to the exclusion of everything else, but we, you know, haven’t, I think it’s fair to say.

The other interpretation is that McChrystal’s recommendations on resourcing the war will be, as Levin said, “much more comprehensive” than just U.S. troops. You can probably figure out which interpretation I incline toward.

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