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Thread: Vice President Joe Biden on Afghanistan: More U.S. troop deaths likely

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Default Vice President Joe Biden on Afghanistan: More U.S. troop deaths likely

    Vice President Joe Biden on Afghanistan: More U.S. troop deaths likely

    Strategy shift ahead, he says

    Vice President Joe Biden, in a somber assessment of the road ahead, predicted Sunday that American casualties would climb in Afghanistan as the Obama administration shifts military priorities in the battle against terrorism.

    "We've inherited a real mess" in Afghanistan, Biden said. "We're about to go in and try to essentially reclaim territory that's been effectively lost. … All of this means we're going to be engaging the enemy more now."

    In one of his first major foreign policy decisions, President Barack Obama has decided to confront an increasingly aggressive challenge from the Taliban by trimming U.S. forces in Iraq and bolstering the troop commitment in Afghanistan.

    The situation in Afghanistan reflects an earlier decision by the Bush administration and its allies to limit military involvement there—a decision that has opened the way for a resurgent Taliban that now rules unchallenged in much of the countryside and stages effective hit-and-run attacks even on the urban areas where U.S. and other forces are concentrated.

    Obama has pledged to deploy some 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan in an Iraq-like "surge" designed to impose security in towns that have essentially gone lawless.

    That is a major increase, but the current force numbers only about 32,000—far smaller than the roughly 140,000 serving in Iraq and only a fraction of what experts say would be needed to dominate the region.

    Add to this Afghanistan's long history of successful resistance to outsiders.

    It was against this grim background that Biden, asked whether Obama's surge in Afghanistan would lead to more American casualties, said:

    "I hate to say it, but yes, I think there will be. There will be an uptick."

    The vice president did not provide details of how the additional forces would be used, beyond saying they would help train Afghan police and try to reclaim land. He did not say how many forces might be sent to the border with Pakistan, where many militants move easily back and forth across the rugged terrain and where Al Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding.

    Biden reiterated Obama's statements during the campaign that he would strike within Pakistan if there were "actionable intelligence."


    Vice President Joe Biden on Afghanistan: More U.S. troop deaths likely -- chicagotribune.com

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Well, we all knew the focus was going to shift back to Afghanistan. Of course, if we hadn't been sidetracked by Iraq, maybe the situation in Afghanistan would be much better. But we'll never know.

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