McChrystal’s Troop Options: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Oct 9, 2009 2:57pm

 ABC's Martha Raddatz reports: Among three different troop options currently before the President and his national security team,  General Stanley  McChrystal , the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, as first reported here yesterday, favors an increase of some 40,000 more troops.  A source familiar with the document says that’s the minimum McChrystal believes is needed for a chance for success in Afghanistan. The three options are, option one: send no more troops to Afghanistan, considered a "high risk option;” option two: send 40,000 more troops, and option three: a major increase in troops, a number that has not been made public but that is far more than 40,000. But how much more than 40,000 is that high option? The Wall Street Journal, following up on our report yesterday, today reports that the troop request exceeds 60,000.  We’re told that number is even higher – well more than 60,000, but under 100,000.
 
But this high option is not the one McChrystal favors.  He favors the middle option.  Our source says McChrystal knows the high number is a ‘throw away' number, and is more than the US could possibly support, either politically or with boots on the ground given how stretched the military is right now.  As one observer noted to us, “It is common for the military to give several options, but what McChrystal has done here is say, ‘you can be hung, shot or eat your vegetables.”

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