Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apparently we're counting aviators and aircrews in the 30K "boots on the ground"

I mean, true, I guess they do wear boots.
The Department of Defense announced today the deployment of approximately 3,100 additional forces to Afghanistan, part of the 30,000 troops authorized by President Obama on Nov. 30. The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas, will deploy approximately 2,600 soldiers to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010.
The other 500 are "support forces," according to the announcement.

P.S. No offence, Starbuck! (I just don't think this is what we had in mind when they were talking about 30,000 new counterinsurgents.)


  1. In 2007, the 3rd CAB, which was deployed for the surge, was just as essential as the five BCTs that went along with it, if you ask Odierno and his planners, who identified the forces required. An extra CAB in Afghanistan is huge, and I bet when McChrystal is thinking numbers like 30,000 or 40,000 in his head, a extra CAB had a prominent place, as did an extra division headquarters. Some pieces of the "tail," especially pieces that ISAF is even shorter on than combat battalions, like medium-lift helicopters and air-weapons teams and tactical UAVs, are just as important as extra teeth. (Plus, I bet the Taliban thinks of Apaches as teeth, not tail....)

  2. Completely agree with you here, but the point is that these numbers were being bandied around as if it was going to be 30K riflemen. Obviously we knew that wasn't the case, but I think it could've been made clearer to those who didn't.

  3. I wonder how many riflemen are actually there, or were in Iraq at the height of things for that matter? If you say that there's about 500 patrolling soldiers in a combat battalion/battle group*, and I count 47 battle groups in Afghanistan, then there's probably somewhere around 25,000, and in Iraq in 2007 there were probably somewhere around 35-40,000.

    *I know it can really range from 300 to over a thousand, and that there are units besides infantry/cavalry that do patrols and raids and advising and whatnot, but just for estimation purposes