Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Afghan Journal:
At some point this month or early June, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan will outnumber those in Iraq, writes Michael E. O 'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. It's an artificial milestone but it is worth noting because it tells you a good deal about the two wars and where the United States stands in each.
The cross-over is also a measure of how big and rapid has the shift been in America's military power toward Afghanistan since President Barack Obama took office last year promising to bring the troops home.
There are currently around 90,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and just under 100,000 in Iraq. The United States is adding roughly 2,000 more troops each month in Afghanistan as part of a build-up to beat back a resurgent Taliban while drawing down more than 5,000 from Iraq.
By the end of the summer, the troop strength in Afghanistan will hit 100,000 while the number in Iraq would have fallen to half of that. It's a dramatic shift since Obama was inaugurated as U.S. president in January last year when there were just 35,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.