Source - LA Times
In May of this year, I noted that, contrary to President Obama's [phony] assertion that the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan had been broken as a result of his failed policies, both Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers, the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees, upon returning from from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan, asserted that the Taliban has grown stronger over the last three years, and that they are stronger now than they were before Obama announced his 18 month troop surge, while simultaneously announcing - and telegraphing - to the Taliban - his timetable for withdrawal.
Likewise, the Los Angeles Times reported today that, "More than 2,500 insurgent attacks [in Afghanistan] were recorded every month from April to September this year, well above violence levels when Obama first took office in 2009." And yet, despite this perturbing and unsettling statistic, the Times is reporting that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, after 2014, may be even "smaller than expected".
The Obama administration plans to keep 6,000 to 9,000 troops there despite requests from military commanders for a larger presence.
The Obama administration plans on keeping 6,000 to 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, fewer than previously reported, and will confine most of them to fortified garrisons near the capital, leaving Afghan troops largely without American advisors in the field to fight a still-powerful insurgency, U.S. officials said...
Contours of the plan have become increasingly clear in the weeks since President Obama's reelection. Officials close to the discussions say the final U.S. presence will be substantially smaller than the 15,000 troops senior commanders have sought to keep after most of the 68,000 remaining American troops leave...
The massive bases that the Pentagon built in Kandahar and Helmand, two southern provinces where the Taliban is strongest, probably will be turned over to Afghan control, the officials said. So will a string of U.S. combat posts near the eastern city of Jalalabad, a key staging ground for military operations along the Pakistani border.
In most of the country, Afghan troops and security forces will be left to fight on their own against the Taliban and its allies... The plan already has sparked internal criticism at the Pentagon, where some commanders say more U.S. troops are needed.
"This will significantly limit what can be accomplished," one official said.
U.S. military commanders argue that a sizable military presence is needed in the south and east, where the insurgency remains the strongest, and to provide enough forces to protect American diplomats and aid workers outside Kabul...
Commanders also say a U.S. decision to slash troop levels will make it more difficult to persuade fiscally strapped allies in Europe to contribute more than a token number of troops...
A Pentagon report released Monday showed only one of the Afghan army's 23 brigades can operate independently without U.S. or allied air support and other assistance.
A senior Defense Department official who briefed reporters on the report acknowledged that the Afghan army and police could face enormous difficulties after most U.S. troops leave. More than 2,500 insurgent attacks were recorded every month from April to September this year, well above violence levels when Obama first took office in 2009.
Even U.S. officials do not expect the insurgency to wane by 2014.