[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).
dan h
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 [94]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
    troop rotations.

    "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 [95]new strategy
    announced earlier this month in an address to the nation by President
    Donald Trump.

    [96]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 [97]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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