Friday, December 04, 2009

Occupation Troops in Afghanistan

The Obama surge will bring all foreign troops to a total of 140,000. Add in 104,000 mercenaries (private contractors) and the total occupation force is near a quarter of a million. Add in another projected quarter of a million for the Afghan national army (currently 100,000) and the total forces for the Afghanistan occupation will be 500,000.

To put that in perspective, there are only about six million Afghans of fighting age in the entire country. Most of those are handicapped by previous war injuries or needed for the food (and poppy) harvest.

The Taliban fighting force is estimated at 25,000 men. By my back of the hand calculations, we outnumber them 20 to 1. We've got grotesquely expensive, high-tech weapons while they have cheap AK-47s so adding in force multiplication and we probably outnumber the Taliban by at least 100 to 1.

It takes a great deal of military incompetence to squander an advantage that large but I am certain the Pentagon is more than capable of continuing to fail miserably in Afghanistan.

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