Iraq and Afghanistan: Availability of Forces, Equipment, and Infrastructure Should Be Considered in Developing U.S. Strategy and Plans, Statement of Janet St. Laurent, Managing Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, Testimony before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 320KB]

"The United States is in the process of developing its strategy for operations in Afghanistan, as well as for the drawdown and continued operations of forces in Iraq. As of December 2008, approximately 32,500 U.S. troops were deployed in Afghanistan. Moreover, DOD may add an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. Since 2001, the war in Afghanistan changed from a violent struggle against al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters to a multi-faceted counterinsurgency effort. As of December 2008, U.S. troops in Iraq numbered approximately 148,500. DOD also had about 162,400 contractors in Iraq as of mid-2008. Today's testimony addresses key observations regarding the development of U.S. strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, factors that should be considered as the United States refines its strategy for Iraq and plans to draw down forces, and factors that should be considered as the United States develops a strategy for Afghanistan and plans for increasing forces. This statement is based on GAO reports and testimonies on Iraq and Afghanistan."

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