Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses troops at Forward Operating Base Joyce in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool) (AP)

Obama sending more troops to Afghanistan

At the same time the White House insists things are going well, it is reportedly deploying another 1,400 troops

Justin Elliott
January 6, 2011 6:53PM (UTC)

Even as President Obama's July 2011 beginning-of-withdrawal deadline approaches, the Wall Street Journal reports today that at least 1,400 more Marines are heading to Afghanistan:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to send an additional 1,400 Marine combat forces to Afghanistan, officials said, in a surprise move ahead of the spring fighting season to try to cement tentative security gains before White House-mandated troop reductions begin in July.


Commanders are examining other proposals to temporarily boost the number of combat troops in Afghanistan in addition to the Marines authorized Wednesday. If the plans are approved, the front-line fighting force could be increased in total by as many as 3,000 troops.

As I've previously noted, those "security gains" that have been pointed to by the White House over the past few months are, according to some independent metrics, non-existent. And the fact that Obama is now sending up to another 3,000 Americans to Afghanistan cannot be a sign that things are going particularly well.


We're also seeing a potentially ominous uptick in "Military technology x will save us" stories. See "U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks for first time in Afghan war" and ""With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.'"

Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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