News Release

Questioning Plans to Increase U.S. Troops in Afghanistan


The lead story in USA Today this morning reports that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan told the newspaper “he has asked the Pentagon for more than 20,000 soldiers, Marines and airmen” to augment the American forces in that country.

Gen. David McKiernan is quoted as saying that U.S. troop levels of 55,000 to 60,000 in Afghanistan will be needed for “at least three or four more years.” He added: “If we put these additional forces in here, it’s going to be for the next few years. It’s not a temporary increase of combat strength.”

The magnitude of the planned U.S. military buildup in Afghanistan is becoming more apparent on a daily basis, Institute for Public Accuracy executive director Norman Solomon said today: “This fits the pattern of escalation of the Vietnam War. Rather than unveiling the plans for escalation all at once, the government releases information partially, in stages. The parable of the boiled frog comes to mind: the temperature is being raised one degree at a time, while Americans become gradually acclimated to an open-ended and escalating commitment to war in Afghanistan.”

In a live interview Sunday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program, Solomon challenged the conventional wisdom of proceeding with escalation of the war in Afghanistan. He warned against acquiescence to larger U.S. troop deployments, likening the current period to the political and media atmosphere in the United States that enabled escalation of the Vietnam War during the mid-1960s. Solomon is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Video of the “Washington Journal” interview is online.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167