500,000 troops needed in Afghanistan over five years
Embedded in General Stanley McChrystal’s classified assessment of the war in Afghanistan is his conclusion that a successful counterinsurgency strategy will require 500,000 troops over five years.
This bombshell was dropped by NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
“The numbers are really pretty horrifying. What they say, embedded in this report by McChrystal, is they would need 500,000 troops – boots on the ground – and five years to do the job. No one expects that the Afghan Army could step up to that. Are we gonna put even half that of U.S. troops there, and NATO forces? No way.” [Morning Joe, September 23, 2009]
Mitchell got the figure from an independent source. It was not revealed in the redacted version of the once classified report released by the Pentagon earlier this week.