Monday, October 12, 2009

White House Commits 13,000 support troops to Afghanistan, Partners with India in Wargames

A report published in the Washington Post indicates that troop levels in Afghanistan are expected to rise to 68,000 personnel following a series of smaller deployments. 13,000 support personnel are being moved to the nation, which the report explains are comprised of engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police. American General Stanley McChrystal has requested as many as 40,000 more personnel be deployed to the theatre, in order to combat a growing insurgency problem and to assist with establishing security on the ground. The support personnel are not included as part of a deployment total, but are necessary to preserve the ratio of approximately 1000 support troops to every 4000 personnel in a combat Brigade. Defense Secretary Robert Gates refers to these support soldiers as ‘enablers’, whose role is to facilitate logistics, intelligence and other fundamental non-combative aspects of Peace Support Operations.

America has also engaged in a series of wargames with India, who despite espousing ‘nonalignment’ was considered an adversary state during the period of the Cold War. This new development indicates a commitment to South-Asian security and underscores the concern that both nations have in the unstable nuclear power, Pakistan which neighbors India. India has maintained an embassy in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul where the US-Led NATO/ISAF coalition is currently engaged, but last week 17 people were killed there in a suicide-bomb attack. There is a shared goal of regional security and both nations hold serious concerns about a rising China. Whether or not overtures between the Indo-US military establishments represent a new-era form of containment to Chinese economic and cultural emergence remains to be seen.


Washington Post – Support Troops Swelling U.S. Force in Afghanistan

Reuters – Massive War Games Showcase Deepening India-US Ties

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