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Thursday, October 1, 2009
Then And Now: CNS and Troop Levels

A Sept. 30 article by Susan Jones carries the headline "43 U.S. Troops Have Died in Afghanistan Since Gen. McChrystal Called for Reinforcements." The article lists the names and hometowns of American servicemen killed in Afghanistan since August 30, when Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, in Jones' words, "sent a confidential war assessment to the Obama administration, warning that more forces are needed--soon."

Another Sept. 30 article, by Christopher Neefus, details how "As a presidental candidate, Barack Obama repeatedly said he would reinforce the U.S. troops in Afghanistan" but "as commander-in-chief, however, Obama has thus far failed to heed" McChrystal.

This article prompted us to wonder: Did CNS -- apparently following the lead of Fox News in making a big deal out of President Obama's purported dithering over Afghanistan -- similarly obsess in 2003, shortly before the Iraq war, when then-Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki testified that "several hundred thousand soldiers" would be needed to successfully occupy Iraq?

A search of the CNS archive turned up no reference to it, but it's possible that most stories older than mid-2007, when CNS redesigned its website, may not be in the archive at all. But as an observer of CNS at the time, we don't recall that CNS highlighted Shinseki's testimony.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EDT

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