Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars, FY2001-FY2012: Cost and Other Potential Issues
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In February and March 2009, the Obama Administration announced its plans to increase troop levels in Afghanistan and decrease troop levels in Iraq. In Afghanistan, 30,000 more troops are deploying this year while in Iraq, troops will gradually decline to 35,000 to 50,000 by August 31, 2011 with all troops to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. The most commonly cited measure of troop strength is Boots on the Ground or the number of troops located in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Based on average monthly Boots on the Ground figures, the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq increased from 5,200 in FY2002 to a peak of 187,900 in FY2008 primarily because of increases in Iraq beginning with the invasion in March 2003. In FY2009, total troop strength is expected to remain the same as planned increases in Afghanistan offset declines in Iraq. By FY2012, overall troop strength for the two wars is likely to decline to 67,500 when the withdrawal from Iraq is expected to be complete.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics