7,478. 12/1/2009

In a speech at West Point on December 1, 2009, President Barack “Obama announced the thirty thousand new troops of the Afghan surge, but most news accounts of the speech seized on the fact that the president also said that some of those troops would be coming home in July 2011 as they transferred responsibility for a number of Afghanistan’s provinces to Afghan security forces. However, there was a large and little-noticed caveat inserted in the speech: that this drawdown would be based on conditions on the ground. And at the time only one of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces was under the control of the Afghan army and police, and that was Kabul itself.”

 – Peter Bergen, The Longest War, Page 333

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