Infrastructure an Inhibitor to Rapid U.S. Deployment /Afhanistan
General James Conway, Commandant USMC, told Marines in Afghanistan, that 9000 Marines will start final preparations for deployment to Afghanistan days after President Obama's address to West Point cadets and the nation on Tuesday at 8pm EST.
The Marines will be followed quickly by 1000 Army trainers to speed up growth of the Afghan National Army and Police.
Three brigades will be deployed between March and December 2010, 101st Airborne Division, 10 Mountain Division and a Marine Corps Brigade.
Infrastructure is the main impediment in Afghanistan that hampers rapid deployment. While these additional troops are being deployed with their equipment, the 68,000 U.S. troops on the field still need to be resupplied. Experts estimate that it will take 3 months to deploy one Brigade with the infrastructure impediment.
The Marines are said to be deployed in Hellmand Province. Both Kandahar and Bagram airfield will be at the limits of their capability to receive equipment and troops and the routine resupply of missions flown to Afghanistan.
The staged deployment also permits the flexibility to stop the movement of troops should Karzai not stop corruption or fulfill his promises.
All eyes will be on the President next Tuesday.
"The first troops out of the door are going to be Marines," Gen. James T. Conway, the Corps' top officer, told fellow Marines in Afghanistan on Saturday. "We've been leaning forward in anticipation of a decision. And we've got some pretty stiff fighting coming."
The Marines will be quickly followed by about 1,000 U.S. Army trainers. They will deploy as early as February to speed the growth of the Afghan army and police force, military officials said.
The new forces will not start moving until Obama outlines his new strategy in a speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. The revised plan, which faces a war-weary and increasingly skeptical American public, is expected to call for 30,000 to 35,000 new troops in a phased deployment over the next 12 to 18 months.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada