May 24th, 2010
03:37 PM ET

More U.S. troops now in Afghanistan than in Iraq

For the first time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has surpassed the number in Iraq.

As of Saturday, 94,000 U.S. forces were in Afghanistan and 92,000 in Iraq, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

The U.S. is reducing its presence in Iraq, as per its agreement with the Iraqi government and anticipates being down to 50,000 troops as of September 1, 2010, and all troops removed by the end of the 2011.

President Obama has increased the number of Afghan troops significantly, including adding 30,000 more troops by the end of the summer. Most of the troops are now in country.

The flip is occurring a little ahead of schedule. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had anticipated the balance tipping to Afghanistan by the summer.

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. james

    essentialy this is what i belive it boils down to iraq was a responce to 911 where the wmd were thought to be all becuase of bad intel by great britian, russia the cia and isreal which are all our close allies. there was still crap their we had to do their becuase they were going and had the means to build wmds but we just jumped to gun a little so good for us were pecekeepers also they had a dictator warlord we got rid of and we installed a demcracy so goood for george bush efforts and screw the traiters and communits like obama that even cnn treats well

    December 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cyrus Howell


    July 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus Howell

      You don't think they were arrested and prosecuted do you? You're right.

      July 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cyrus Howell

        There was not a peep out of the American Legion or the VFW when our government tried to kill the most decorated soldier of the Korean War. They may have been heros in the military, but all of them were cowards when this happened.
        Get me the names of the two CID men and I'll kill them myself. They were the worst cowards and traitors since Aaron Burr and John Willks Booth.
        You know why they did that? They did it for a pay check, a promotion and to assassinate the communist traitor Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert. The were as brain washed as you are cb.

        July 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SNIPER1

    "It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death it is then the truest valor to dare to live."

    May 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Onesmallvoice

    I just wish that they would call off this upcoming ofensive and try to find a way out of this obnoxious war instead of just sending in more troops.

    May 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      war is a money maker for haliburton and others..they wont seek a diplomatic souloution..

      May 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Elmo

        Agreed, war is money, but not just for the "western" power elite. There is a very powerful Arab elite that has strong attachments to maintaining the war. Perhaps it is worthwhile to investigate the money trail, go beyond haliburton...who really controls the money, who really controls the various corporations that are financially benefiting from the wars.

        May 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • clr

        So Obama is getting paid off by Haliburton now? Seems so – with his light stance on the BP issue, and funding more to Afghanistan...

        May 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • steve

        diplomacy doesnt work with terrorist..sorry

        May 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Neil

        Seems like the war is finally shifting to the country where the entire war on terror should have been in the first place. There were no ties at all between Iraq and the attack on the Twin Towers!

        May 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        Kevin, you stupid " HALIBURTON IS THE EVIL EMPIRE " slug, are really shallow minded. I wish you would wake up and look a little beyond your prissy little world and read up on history and something beyond the left-wing toilet paper you read as the source of information.

        May 25, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
      • John

        Wow, insightful.

        May 25, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
      • RossC

        War is a major drain on the taxpayer. Controlling costs is the order of the day now.

        May 25, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Jay

        is that why my Halliburton stock is down and has been down for a while, smart guy? I

        May 25, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben Kraus

      this "obnoxious" war wasn't just started for no reason. we didnt just say "oh hey lets send 200,000 Marines Soldiers and Sailors to afghanistan because we feel like it." These offensives are meant to root out our enemy, the ones who did harm to America and would jump at any chance to do it again. That way Afghanistan can become more stable, more quickly and hence American troops can leave more quickly. What is wrong with you Americans who think just leaving without finishing the job is right thing to do? Look what happened after Russia invaded Afghanistan, the U.S. backed afghanistan and helped them repulse the Russians, but after that was over we just left, didn't help rebuild their country which had been totally destroyed. The afghans found themselves struggling all alone and began to develop resentment towards the U.S. and became the base from wich the 9/11 attacks were based.

      My Dad is in Afghanistan right now and I wish he was home right now but even I understand the necesity of finishing what we set out to do, instead of just leaving without finishing the job. That would simply make things worse and America would suffer further on down the road. You thoughtless boob.

      May 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steven

        That's right!
        I can't help but believe that a bunch of goat herders and people who live in a caves did this!
        Oh, they'll pay!

        May 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • yoyo

        You are severely brainwashed man

        May 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • David Elisha

        Well said my friend.

        May 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • ProgVet

        Nicely stated especially the "thoughtless boob" bit.

        May 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chulk Ches

        Well-said Ben Kraus. I nver was in the military but on behalf of myself and many others, I understand very well that the sacrifice and bravery your father has assumed is the reason why me and my son, have the ability to live in a country with the freedoms so many seem to take for granted. Nay sayers can say what they like, but their ability to say what they want only exists because of the brave actions your father. That is what freedom is all about. I hope your father comes back safe and unharmed.

        May 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Working_in_Kabul

        Well said Ben!!!!

        May 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maldonado

        when you say we it means you affiliate yourself with the soldiers, you didnt do anything in war, your dad did. Unless you were physically a part of the war dont use the word, "we."
        It offends those who actually were over there. Other than that i agree with you. U.S. Military should finish what they started, and U.S. citizens should support the troops who have sacrificed so much to do what is basically a thankless job in some U.S. cities. Show appreciation

        May 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        Well said Kraus.

        @Maldonado. The 'we' are the ones who did the sending, as well as the ones who responded to the call, and those who are separated from deployed family, either temporarily or permanently. "Even I understand the necessity of finishing what we set out to do, instead of just leaving without finishing the job." The son of a deployed vet is certainly allowed to say that.

        Of course the ones who deserve the credit are the ones who actually serve, but 'we' as nation need to equip soldiers in Somalia with APCs, those in Iraq with body armor, and require effective rules of engagement. Those who would tie the hands of the warriors, and pull the plug when there is unfinished business, do not understand what is at stake. To all those who serve the cause of freedom, I say, Thank You.

        May 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • DAV

        Maldonado, chill. I was probably in combat while you were still in diapers. The young man is expressing a heart-felt point. If you were in the sandbox, you were a volunteer. There's no draft. "We", as a country, are not going to let a bunch of religious fanatics, or any kind of fanatics, foreign or domestic, kill thousands of Americans and sit on our butts. Not everyone is old enough or young enough, or healthy enough, at this point, to serve directly in the military. That doesn't mean "We" aren't doing everything we can to support the guys and gals on the pointy end of the stick. No point in getting insulted. If you want to truly be insulted, get spit on as you get off the plane back in the world. Have people call you all the crap we had thrown at us after a tour. Then you can be insulted.

        May 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ron

        Nice going kid! All of these people who think we should just leave have been living free all of these years and speak of freedom and freedom of the press, live in a free country! How many good soldiers died so they could have that freedom? I am a vet of the Viet Nam ara, I know what its like to fight for our freedom.

        May 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • jake

        Thank you Ben for your great response AND for the valiant service your father (and others like hime) have providing to this country. I have married someone who immigrated to this country over 20 years ago. The country she is from spends most of its time policing its 'own people'. I wish the people who are 'against' our efforts in the middle east would at least CONSIDER moving to a different country, even for JUST ONE year, then see if they 'sing a different tune'. Tell your dad Thanks:).

        May 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alf

        Well said Ben! Let's not forget 9/11 and the fact these fanatics are trying to do this again.

        May 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • TLC

        Well said Ben! My husband is in Afghanistan. I don't always agree with his beliefs, but I trust that he knows what is the right thing to do. He could be sitting comfortably by my side retired. He has chosen to go on a third deployment. To the guy who wrote what's up with the "WE", it is a family affair. The whole family is affected by a deployment. Missed milestones of children, birthdays and anniversaries. 2010 for me is no husband by my side for our 25th wedding anniversary or a wild and crazy over the hill 50th birthday party and possibly missing our son's college graduation. We are 4 months into another 12 month deployment. Three months until he takes mid-tour leave. You really start to ? why at this point. As I wrote before I trust that my husband believes that what he is doing is the right thing.

        May 24, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Art H

        Agreed. It is only now that the balance of troops are starting to shift to where they should have been all along. The Iraq distraction is finally starting to wind down.

        May 24, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Once people realize that 9-11 was BS is when they realize that Afghanistan and Iraq was NEVER necessary. but then again people still don't get the "FACT" that when a bullet hits you from behind, your projected forward not back and to the left like the "JFK assassination".. magic bullets and magic planes like the ones who's fuel burns so hot it melts steel and causes 3 towers to Magically fall into it own you believe in truth or mainstream hokus pokus, should be the real topic

        May 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Ben, Well said, and with clear thoughts and facts rather than emotion which tends to fog and skew what we mean to say. I for one agree with you and understand what you've been through. I'm a veteran of Gulf War 1, Somalia, and OIF. One of the things so many people forget is that the US and her allies are in a position to assist dozens of other countries around the world who cannot or will not support or help themselves. No one blinked or complained when we went into the former Yugoslavia and Croatia, Hertzagovina did they? No one initially cried foul when we went into Somalia. No one complained when we yanked Noriega out of his bed and brought him to the US to stand trial for hundreds of murders and putting TONS of drugs onto our streets did they? So before anyone starts to mouth off about just one or two engagements we're presently in, stop and think about the millions of people we've saved through our involvement in dozens of other conflicts in dozens of other countries for the last 25 years. Also think about the fact that those Service Men and Women overseas right now are there as volunteers. Not as conscripts or slaves or through threat or beguilement, but as volunteers. When you go to bed tonight remember that you can sleep safely and soundly knowing that YOU are not being shot at tonight because of others who do their job proudly not just for you but for those strangers in a foreign land that can't do it for themselves.

        May 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • SAB

        Maldonado...spoken with true ignorance. What you fail to understand is that "we" is indicative of the holistic nature of war and how its effects are felt far beyond the battlefield. What you fail to understand is when married or with children, "they" people like Ben here enlist, reenlist etc with their parents or loved ones. it is a that a child or wife has little say over. Maybe you should talk to others who suffer while their family is away. Some call it the silent ranks others call it the homefront but that is what it is; a front. So please dont denigrate a families service when they stand beside them because they are serving just in a different manner. As for my Bona Fides, i got back on saturday from my second tour in less than 3 years. Be polite and understanding not arrogant and ignorant of the realities of military life.

        May 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jimmy the Big Fat Greek

        The Taliban are recruiting for Afghanistan, but are looking outside of their country. Not one of the hijackers on 9/11 were Afghani: they were all from Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, UAE, etc. That's where the terrorists are coming from – and of course Pakistan (Pha-kee-sthan – you need to pronounce it with that cool accent that's all proper like). Afghanistan is thus a never ending battlefield where legions of Muslim extremists meet up. They cross the border in t-shirts and shorts and valid passports and then spread out to the mountains where they are armed with simple weapons like AK 47s, IEDs, and mortar rounds. With our consumerism choking on oil with no end in site – we're only funding Middle Eastern terrorism.

        May 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • DavidH

        You do realize that while , tragically, about 3,000 Americans died in the attacks of 9/11, that roughly 45,000 Americans die every year from inadequate health care? Roughly 40,000 Americans die every year in traffic accidents?
        Priorities, man!

        May 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • WakeUp

        DavidH – you're an idiot. How many would die if terrorists started detonating nuclear bombs? If it wasn't for the guys and gals over there doing your dirty work for you, you'd be living in a fall out shelter.
        The only reason you can sit there under your olive tree in your loin cloth is because people like Ben's father bought you that right with their lives. Get a job and buy some health insurance.

        May 25, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
      • InAfghan

        Well said! Don't forget us Airmen are over here too!

        May 25, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
      • DavidH

        Sorry but you've been brainwashed by watching too much TV and too many movies. Look up salience bias. I'll worry about nuclear bombs detonating when it happens. You are Chicken Little, running around telling everybody the sky(nukes) are falling when I'm saying there are much more immediate concerns and priorities. And so what if a nukes vaporizes me? I'd rather go that way than waste away from some disease without health care. And get a job? I'm willing to bet I'm much more gainfully employed than you, given the profile of the average teabagger.
        "Life is much to important to be taken seriously"
        `Oscar Wilde

        May 25, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
      • DK

        That was the question back in the days of desert storm, when our forces where stopped. maybe if the President Bush Sr would taken Iraq then the middle-east might have taken us more seriously. Why didn't he finish.?

        May 25, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
      • DavidH

        Too important, that was a fat finger, not a misspelling.
        Anyway, guy, that's just my advice. I live and work in a foreign country, so I can only watch with shame as my home country goes down the toilet as trillions are spent fighting two wasteful and useless wars. All I can say is too much junk food, too much television, too much brainwashing, too much ritalin and prozac, and too much of a disposable lifestyle mentality. AMerica is a wreck, and it desperately needs the dollars currently being funneled to the military industrial complex to fix itself. It's a class war, and guess what buddy? You're on the losing side. Keep wrapping yourself in the flag, and you'll talk yourself into prison, slavery, or a set of BDU's.

        May 25, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Stephen R.

        BEN, great, great, great point. We cannot just hit and run away. That wont solve anything (and prove the terrorist view of America as cowards). We need to do this and do it right and not leave until we finish what we started.

        May 25, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
      • JenniPoohBear

        Well spoken, Ben. 🙂 Thank you for your words, they are wonderful, and please, the next time you speak with your father, tell him how much we appreciate him and all that him and others like him have done and are doing for this nation. Without these wonderful people, this country would not be what it is today.

        May 25, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
      • CIA INTEL

        First off buddy, The CIA had nothing to do with the Mujahideen winning against the soviets, and dont tell me you know more than the CIA, because even The X head of the binladin unit in the CIA admitted , the Mujhaideen won the war against the soviets alone, all America did was fund two of over 30 factions....Thats all..... and Binladin wouldn't even deal with The CIA back then. Secondly The Taliban had nothing to do with Attacking America.... If the US army had any balls this would have been over on Sept.12th , 2001..........Some guided bombs on Al-Qaeda camps and a Parachute drop on 100,000 Troops in Toraq Bora would have got you your man.................But instead America was still 10 steps behind and has been falling behind ever since! Afghanistan is the graveyard of armies and invaders.....Read some histroy , No one has ever defeated these people, and this non-muslim army in Afghanistan, be it American or Brotish or Nato, it dosent matter, these people are not for Sale, The US has one clear option. GET THE FUZZ OUT!

        May 25, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
      • 1LT Dave

        Excellent answer Ben. Your Father would be proud. I hope to get over to Afghanistan early next year to take care of business so we can leave the country better than when we found it. Hooah!

        May 25, 2010 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Gman

        Ben, you're the man. Just know that anyone in their right minds is behind you and the decision to finish strong in Afghanistan. People like DavidH, wow what an idiot. Preventing people that hate us from conducting further violent acts against this great country should be the number one concern, not providing universal healthcare to everyone within our borders including illegals. typical left wing with his head up his @$$. Defeat the Afghani terrorist groups and establish order to the central government in Afghanistan is what needs to be done. I hope your father returns safe buddy.

        May 25, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
      • deployed

        Hey Ben, I'm currently deployed (though not exactly in Afghanistan) for another half-year or so. I really do appreciate your words and your ability to communicate so clearly. You are very right though, war is a family affair and I'm also impressed at your ability to realize that. Kid, I hope your father comes back unharmed. Best of luck to your family. This is a conflict that needs resolving that is why me and thousands of others put Our lives out here. We are thinking of home and thank you other commentators for the verbal (well textual) support.

        May 25, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Dr. Mahdi

        Actually CIA intelignece, The CIA was behind the rise of both the talibazn and al qaueda. But then stabebed them both in the back when they got to powerful. And now weve got a giant war betwen both that could have been avoided if it wasnt for the use of arabs to defeat the soviets.

        May 25, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
      • William

        I completely agree with Ben, My son is part of the 1/6 Hard that took Marjah and even though he hates it over there and cannot wait come home, he will continue fighting. All I can say for all our troops is to stay strong and may your aim be outstanding.....

        May 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • WoWAddict

        God Bless you Ben! Families of miliary sacrifice much as well.

        May 26, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Marine Queen

        Well said Ben,
        I agree totally with what you are saying.... I live in fear every minute until my man returns from Afghanistan... But I support him totally.. I believe in what he is doing............SEMPER FI

        May 26, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy in Rhode Island

      Maybe not so obvious in the media, but there has been a major change in strategy in Afghanistan. Instead of chasing the enemy on every goat path and cave and sometimes finding them, the Afghani, NATO, and US troops will let them wander the hinterlands. Instead of letting them back into the Afghan villages while we try to turn over stones, we will simply work with the people at the local, regional, and national levels to help protect themselves and effectively let the enemy starve themselves right out of meaningfulness. The quickest way out of the war is to protect the villages and cities.

      May 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sonny

        Sorry to burst your folksy analysis of something as complex as the war in Af-Pak, but the Talibs are everywhere, in the hills, caves and urban centers chatting with ISAF patrols for all you know, silently mapping coordinates to be relayed for mortar attacks, surveying and identifying weaknesses in defense systems for suicide bombings, planting IEDs one minute and herding goats the next. The people, especially those in the Pashun heartland in the southern and eastern parts of the country, are culturally and racially indistinguishable from the Talibs. Know your enemies and know yourself.

        May 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Clintona

      If we never messed with these people in the first place then there would not be any war. We would still have 2 towers.

      May 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Well put,William!

        May 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ron

        William! Your an IDIOT !!!!!

        May 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • watchingfreedom

        study your history before you print, who did attack us? FIRST

        May 24, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sonny

        If nations were individuals that kind of simplistic, folksy logic would be plausible. But nation states like the US are selfish, capable of great brutality but also uplifting compassion, and indifferent to individual sufferings. The US "messes" other with other people or countries often out of self economic and/or political interests. We as a country became entangled in the Afghanistan enterprise to contain Soviets expansionism (actually, it's payback for the Soviets "messing" with us by supporting their proxy Vietnamese commies and kicking us out of Vietnam). When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the US and its allies (Saudis and Pakistanis–hmm, seems like nothing has changed in 30 yrs~) responded by supporting the so called "freedom fighters" or Mujaheddin consisting of largely local Afghans but also a sizable number of foreign volunteers from the Muslim world including a charismatic wealthy young Saudi name bin Laden who was physically a wuss (didn't fight the commies) but was articulate, managing logistics and of course being the son of a Saudi billionaire, an excellent source of finance. American dollars and special weaponry such as the stinger missiles tip the balance in favor of the Mujaheddin and help not just kicking the Soviets out of the country but ultimately in hastening its collapse a three years later. There is also an economic dimension to why America got involve in Af-Pak. As in Iraq, it is about acquiring cheap, reliable energy sources (oil, gas). A point most lay (or intellectual lame) people don't know is that American oil giant Unocal and other petro conglomerates had been actively competing throughout the 1990s to built a very lucrative and strategic gas pipeline from Central Asia and the most direct, inexpensive route is through Afghanistan. Finally, we mess with the Talibs because they harbored and protected Al Qaeda (see 9/11). I suggest go back and read your history, political science and geography books so that you and other won't post ridiculous, ignorant questions and comments about current events.

        May 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • DavidH

        Great point. Totally agree, we never should have messed there in the first place.

        May 25, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Kian

        Freedom, look up First Gulf War. I believe it was us that attacked first.

        May 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • johny

      we have a war going on here between the blacks and the whites and the rich and the poor....we need help here first..

      May 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Neil

        What country are you in? We have crime, sure, but a war? Really? Crimes are committed by choice. There is no 'war' between rich and poor, or whites and blacks, just crimes that are sometimes committed against one another.

        Also, from what I understand, most of the crimes are committed against people of the same race as the person committing the crime.

        May 24, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • DavidH

        Sorry, Neil, but if the financial crisis proves anything, it proves there's a war going on between the financial class and everyone else. Where do US treasury funds come from? Where do they go? I'll give you a hint: not social services. Not toward building schools and roads and bridges.
        We're in a class war, and unless you've got your share of the US treasury, you're on the losing side.

        May 25, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
      • US infidal

        Not yet, one of the main cause for the growing racism is this country is the Government and propaganda we get with the news. It would be nice to see our government pratice at home what they preach across the world. As for war,Humans are the most vicious animal on earth, as long as there is mankind there will be wars.

        May 25, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Might as well ask this, what do you think would happen once we "called off the war" unilaterally? How would this effect the United States? Would there be any repercussions to our national security?

      May 25, 2010 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Calling off the war unilaterally would be the best thing we could do if we can't get a negotiated settlement between the Karzai regime and the Taliban.We need to start ignoring the right-wing thugs in Washington and find a way to stop this insidious war.This will have a favorable impact on our economy except for the war profiteers.

        May 25, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • get real

      Right, let's stop the war and give the taliban means and time to bomb another city.

      May 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |