Friday, March 26, 2010

Afghanistan troop level to eclipse Iraq by midyear

Afghanistan troop level to eclipse Iraq by midyear: "This summer will mark the first time since 2003 that the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will overshadow the American presence in Iraq, the top U.S. military officer told Congress March 24 here.

Driving the eclipse is the 30,000-troop surge President Barack Obama announced for Afghanistan in December, roughly a third of which is in place, and with 18,000 of the additional forces expected to be in Afghanistan by late spring as troop levels in Iraq continue to drop.

'Indeed, by the middle of this year, Afghanistan will surpass Iraq, for the first time since 2003, as the location with the most deployed American forces,' said Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral Mullen told members of the House Appropriations Committee the remainder of the 30,000 will arrive as rapidly as possible over the summer and early fall, making a major contribution to reversing Taliban momentum in 2010."