Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN….Can we put 7,000 more troops in Afghanistan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates would like? That’s about two brigades, and after going through the current deployments of every combat brigade we have, Fred Kaplan says there’s only one way for this to happen:

There is no way to put more boots in Afghanistan without taking boots out of Iraq. As one senior Army officer put it to me, having it both ways is, “in a word, impossible,” and anyone who thinks otherwise, he added, is “dreaming.” Gates, by the way, is not among the daydreamers. His press secretary, Geoff Morrell, said in an e-mail today that Gates well knows that, fundamentally, “the only way he can add significant forces to Afghanistan, while keeping the President’s commitment to reduce tour-lengths, is to continue the drawdown of troops in Iraq.”

Presumably, then, Gates wants to continue the drawdown. And also presumably, CENTCOM-commander-to-be David Petraeus doesn’t. Stay tuned.