‘30,000’ Troops « The Washington Independent
Politico’s Michael Calderone reports that the White House is in for a 30,000-troop increase for Afghanistan, clearing up a discrepancy between the 34,000 troops reported by The Washington Post and most of its competitors. But here’s the thing. The troop numbers that are typically announced are combat troops — not support troops like, say, engineers or headquarters staff and so on, the people who enable combat power. That’s why an announced 21,000-troop surge in Iraq in 2007 became, in reality, a 28,000-troop surge. So when Obama announces whatever number he announces, listen for whether it’s an aggregate total or a just a combat-troop total. If it’s a combat troop total, add several thousand troops to the figure he announces.