U.S. prepares for surge in Afghanistan

January 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Pentagon is drawing up plans to send 3,000 Marines into Afghanistan to deal with the growing Taliban threat.

Military officials say there has been a 40-percent increase in overall attacks in Afghanistan since last year, a 20-percent increase in suicide bombings.

While they're not calling it a surge, it's quite similar to the strategy used in Iraq.

The Pentagon's proposal will cross defense secretary Robert Gates' desk Friday -- asking for 3,000 Marines in Southern Afghanistan for a one-time, seven-month deployment.

"This is in anticipation that there will be an offensive by the Taliban and their allies beginning in April," said Thomas Hendrickson from the Hoover Institute.

Hoover Institute senior fellow Thomas Hendrickson studies U.S foreign policy.

He says while the U.S. strong hold on Iraq is strengthening, it's weakening in Afghanistan.

In fact, violence and terrorist acts 'there' rose dramatically in 2007.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked NATO, two months, to get more support from European allies. He said 'they' need to send three battalions over to Afghanistan as soon as possible. To this date, he's reportedly not gotten a response.

"It's recognition by the administration that they have to step into this breach, that if they don't provide the troops, then in fact, there will be a greater propensity to lose more ground in Afghanistan," said Hendrickson.

"That gets a little tiring doesn't it, when we always have to be the protectors?" said Marine mom Jane Harris.

Word of another possible deployment is frustrating for Jane Harris. Her 23-year-old son is in the marines, and he's in Iraq.

He's supposed to come home to Danville in May and she's now worried plans could change.

"I would of course be afraid but I know this is what he's been trained to do," said Harris.

For this military mom, fighting the war on terror is everyone's duty, not just the U.S. If she's willing to sacrifice time away from her son, she says, everyone should.


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