[pjw] INFO: US Lowballed Number of Troops in Combat Zones for Years | (Military.com 8/30)
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 9 14:12:59 EDT 2017
Supporters of peace and justice
Not long after the President announced his plans to expand, rather than
end, the war in Afghanistan, it was revealed that the military has been
giving false numbers about how many personnel are deployed there at any
one time, not taking into account "temporary" deployments and overlap
between those coming in and those going out.
They promised to be more accountable, but are now being cagey about how
many more will be deployed. We must keep up the pressure to end the
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the non-UN mandated US presence
in Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. (I was commenting on KBOO yesterday
that of the six countries where the US is actively engaged in military
action, the only one we know of with no "boots on the ground" is
Here's an article from Military.com with details (it's from 10 days ago,
sorry for the lag time).
peace and justice works iraq affniity group
DoD: We Lowballed the Number of Troops in Combat Zones for Years
30 Aug 2017 Military.com | by Richard Sisk
The number of U.S. boots actually on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq
and Syria, and the number officially reported by the military have been
two different things for years, the Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday.
The long-standing official number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, or
Force Management Level, has been 8,448, but Marine Lt. Gen. Frank
McKenzie said for the first time that the actual number in Afghanistan
is about 11,000.
"We're saying the number's 11,000 today, and we'll go up or down
slightly based on the operational requirement," said McKenzie, director
of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.
"That's the total forces that are in Afghanistan today. Should that
number change, significantly, then we will come back in here to tell
you," he said.
The Pentagon consistently has lowballed the troop count by not
including those on so-called "temporary assignment" and overlaps in
"This way of doing business is over" at the direction of Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis, said Dana White, the Pentagon's chief
She said the change is being made in accordance with Mattis' overall
demand for more transparency at the Defense Department.
A similar situation on troop numbers has long existed in Iraq and
Syria, and McKenzie said that problem also is being addressed. "The
same principles will apply," he said.
The discrepancies on the troop counts, which began under former
President Barack Obama and continued into the Trump administration,
often resulted in the official number being thousands of troops short
of the actual troop strength.
McKenzie said the new emphasis on transparency would apply to
additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan under the new strategy
announced earlier this month in an address to the nation by President
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, said at
the time that the new troops would begin to deploy within days or
weeks, but McKenzie said no additional troops have been sent as yet.
"No troops have started to flow. No deployment orders have been
issued," McKenzie said of the reinforcements, which could reach as many
as 3,900. "Should that number change significantly," he said, "we will
come back in here to tell you that."
The gap between the public and actual numbers had long been an open
secret. When asked about the discrepancies recently, Mattis told
reporters traveling with him that "There's a very strange accounting
procedure I inherited" on the Force Management Levels.
Mattis "inherited this accounting program," McKenzie said. His
intention now was to "let the American people know what their sons and
daughters are doing there, how many are there."
The Force Management Levels for Iraq have been given at about 5,200
while the number for Syria was about 500. As for the actual numbers of
troops in Iraq and Syria, McKenzie said "those numbers will be out
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