30,000 New U.S. Troops Could Arrive in Afghanistan by Mid-2009
Just as one of America's key 'war on terror' battlegrounds, Iraq, seems poised to see an eventual reduction or phased withdrawal of American troops, the size of the U.S. military presence in another key region, Afghanistan, could double next year.
The increase could see as many as 30,000 new 'boots on the ground' deployed by mid-2009 — bringing the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to more than 61,000.
Make no mistake: the war on terror is far from being over.
The top U.S. military officer says the United States may double the number of troops it has in Afghanistan next year. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says as many as 30,000 more troops could arrive by mid-2009.
Admiral Mullen told reporters in Kabul the additional troops may reach Afghanistan in spring or summer, to join the 31,000 U.S. troops already there. "Some 20- to 30,000 is the window of overall increase from where we are right now," he said.