McKeon's Afghanistan surge
March 2nd, 2012
01:28 PM ET

McKeon's Afghanistan surge

By Adam Levine

With some calling for a rush to the exits in Afghanistan after two weeks of heightened violence, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is looking to add troops into the mix. The bill, should it gain traction, could force the U.S. to change its current drawdown plans.

California's Rep. Buck McKeon introduced a new bill that calls for U.S. military to guard U.S. entities, replacing the thousands of private security guards and Afghan nationals that are currently being used.

In calling for the bill, McKeon notes increasing incidents of Afghan military attacking U.S. and NATO troops. Afghan soldiers and government workers have murdered six American troops since the news that U.S. troops accidentally burned some Qurans and religious material. In the last five years Afghan forces have attacked NATO troops nearly 200 times, killing at least 70 coalition troops and wounding more than 100. An Army report declassified last year found that American troops think Afghan forces are dangerous and unstable. And many Afghan soldiers and police "demonstrated a general loathing of US soldiers."

The bill does not specify the number of troops needed but a congressional aide told Security Clearance that the expectation would be that it would not need to be a one-for-one swap of U.S. troops for Afghanistan and private security guards because "American forces would be far more capable and efficient."

The legislation does allow that if the President does not want to add troops, he would have to certify that using Afghan nationals and private security contractors would provide a level of security equal to what would be provided by U.S. troops.

The aide said the House Armed Services Committee estimate is that there are approximately 11,000 Afghan national guards currently guardling all instalations, though some of those are diplomatic posts, which the bill does not address.

Currently, the plan is to remove the remaining U.S. troops that were added as part of a surge by the end of the summer. That would put the troop level at approximately 68,000 which would be withdrawn between 2012 and the end of 2014.

McKeon's plan does not divert troops from combat, insists the aide.

"He can't take them from the current mission and he'd have to resource people to provide security," the aide said about what Obama would have to do should the bill be passed.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Congress • ISAF • McKeon • Military • Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. 3rqDXVmU

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    March 2, 2021 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  4. Drew Lammon

    January 28, 2021 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  5. Lorrine Ducrepin

    January 28, 2021 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  6. Sharron Hodek

    I agree with you. I wish I had your blogging style.

    January 12, 2021 at 12:29 am | Reply
  7. N

    The US spends a lot of money on contractors to do the same jobs they hire Soldiers to do. Why recruit us and then go hire civillians to do the job? The average Soldiers make maybe $20K – $50K. Mean while we are paying civillians over $100k each to do the same work.

    March 5, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
  8. michaelfury

    March 4, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • USMC

      This traitor serves only himself and the zionist new world order.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  9. Skorpio

    The US should ban the Koran from all military bases and eventually from American society. In comparison to Hitler's book "Mein Kampf", the Koran is more violent, discriminatory and anti-Semitic.The same way Saudi Arabia bans bibles from coming into the country, the US should do the same thing about the Koran. In addition, Muslim clerics use this evil book as a weapon to promote violence, hatred, terrorism and discrimination to the masses.

    March 4, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  10. bobcat2u

    Bullshit. It's time to bring our troops home now. If you want added protection for whatever cause, ( and we all know it's not for the good of the US ) there are plenty of mercenaries that will do the job for you. You cheap ass rich people need to quit using our military as a minimum wage security detail for you.

    March 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  11. MSgt, Tx

    We cannot fight nor win a war when we are in the center of our enemy's country.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply

    The bill does not specify the
    number of troops needed but a
    congressional aide told Security

    March 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  13. RetiredVet

    I say lets pull all of our troops out so we can level that shithole with some NUCLEAR BOMBS, they hate us anyway so lets get them to see their virgins and allah.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  14. TheLastIndependent

    If we leave Afghanistan (again), it be a terrorist hotspot. If we stay, we be cut to ribbons. At least, that's how everyone puts it. Either way, we get screwed. Obama's game plan doesn't seem to based on reality, and more based on making a quick exit, yet simply placing more troops in to the mix doesn't seem the best way to stop the anti-Americanism over there. What to do, what to do?

    March 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Buzzer

      I would press with a dramatically reduced "footprint" of conventional forces and keep in-place the intelligence monitoring tools (SOF (HUMINT) and RECON assets (drones, satellites) we have learned to use (10+ years of experience). If there are indications of a build-up have quick reaction "packages" that can eliminate the threat quickly and efficiently. I guarantee that these options have been analyzed and refined for years now.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
      • USMC

        Why buzzard?

        If you're an American, and I know you're not, you would be calling for the COMPLETE withdrawal of ALL U.S. Armed Forces out of the Middle East/Afghanistan/Korea/German/Europe. Let's take care of America First – but you're a stinkin' idf sissy-baby-killing propagandist – you idf jerf-offs want American men and women to do all the fighting so you dirt bags can continue stealing other people's land while killing innocent women and children with tanks and guns our traitor congress gives your pathetic people each year.

        STOP ALL THE WARS AMERICA FIGHTS FOR THE DIRTY EVIL zionists!! All this madness is rooted the actions of the dirty evil zionists – they are the problem!

        March 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Buzzer

      I wonder how much "consulting" this Congressman has done with the "experts"...he's either not been consulted very much or if he has, he has only listened to the one he agrees with.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  15. Anderson Cooper

    We should be guarding our southern border to prevent the drug dealers from entering our country.

    Wake up America! McKeon should be jailed.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Adams

      Well since I am here in Afghanistan now I agree with the level of concern with the local national security forces. I do not trust them and neither does anyone else who spends hours with them in guard towers. They should replace them with military but not at the expence of a surge. How about using the forces here and remission them to do so.

      I also live in Riverside county ouside of Los Angels and man do I agree with your statement. If we put as much effort into our own border as we have done in Iraq and Afghanistan one could only image what a differance the US would be not supporting Illegals coming across our border commiting crimes and not paying taxes.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
      • USMC

        Think of the TRILLONS of DOLLARS that has been spent on these foreign wars.

        Does the zionist controlled U.S. government care about us?


        They care only in conning the us and stealing our money to support israel.

        March 4, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  16. US Navy Forever

    McKeon is an zionist puppet.

    We need to send this idiot to Afghanistan so he can do some fighting and dying. Let's see how he likes it!

    March 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • What Is

      Exactly, send him on the next flight.

      His proposed bill is an admission of failure. It clarifies that the mission to train Afghan forces will not work. Americans are needed to guard americans as the americans train the Aghans. In a way it is kind of funny. Especially when one possible ironic outcome of the training may be that the Afghans will be more effective in fighting americans.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:41 am | Reply
    • RobertC

      Obviously he is a tool of the military-industrial complex which intends to keep this country in a perpetual state of war.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
      • USMC

        So who cares if you know?

        I don't

        March 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm |

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