View Video: Rethink Afghanistan

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http://rethinkafghanistan.com/part3_full.phpv

Featuring: Andrew Bacevich, Dr. Ramazan Bashardost, Linda Bilmes, Pratap Chatterjee, Carl Conetta, Jo Comerford, Lawrence Korb, Rory Stewart, Winslow Wheeler, Ahmed Rashid

The security assessment being conducted by US General Stanley McCrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, is likely to produce recommendations that will significantly raise the cost of operations in that country.

During the past 6 years, Afghanistan has been funded at a small fraction of the amount we have spent in Iraq, with the US spending $10billion per month in Iraq and $2 billion in Afghanistan in a typical month.  However, it is likely that we will be encouraged to (a) increase US troop levels;  (b) fund a significant increase in Afghan’s own security forces; and (c) provide military aid to Afghanistan for many years to come.

Michael O’Hanlon at Brookings said: “It’s a reasonable guess that for 20 years, we essentially will have to fund half the Afghan budget. We are creating a [long-term military aid] situation similar to the ones we have with Israel, Egypt and Jordan”.   Read story in Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/08/AR2009080802283.html

Britain and Australia pull all troops out of Iraq, as violence continues

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The UK, which at one point contributed more than 45,000 troops to the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, had withdrawn its last troop, and Australia has also pulled its last troops out.  By contrast, the US still maintains more than 130,000 US forces in Iraq.   Read more:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jFalonxIxuJORy6CgZMqGXYGrlIQD99Q8HQG2

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