Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Off to Afghanistan (again) — Local Troops Back to Combat

Troops Coming and Going to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon's view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaeda and to strengthen Afghan forces.

The number of troops assigned to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan changes over time.  Numbers shown here are from current ISAF statistics as of the end of 2012.  This is a list of all ISAF forces

On a local note: 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldiers ready to leave Fort Drum for deployment.

Genuine concern or unnecessary hand-wringing plays a part in this troop redeployment decision dealing with the future of that country once we leave. For example, many think and hype the idea that what is at stake is the risk of Afghanistan's collapse and a return to the chaos of the 1990s that enabled the Taliban to seize power and provide a haven for Osama bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda network. By all accounts, fewer than 100 al-Qaeda fighters are believed to remain in Afghanistan, although a larger number are just across the border in Pakistani sanctuaries. So, are they waiting for us to leave before they come back in strength and regain a country for their base of operations, or not?

Time will tell, but what the future holds is up to the Afghan people - they have to step forward and take control and not allow that to happen. We have been there long enough. We have done what we can and we have spent billions and lost thousands in American blood. It should not be a waste.

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