How big an army would be needed to calm Afghanistan?

As Canada mourns the loss of three soldiers, an expert says it’ll take 600,000 troops to finish the job

This morning brings dispiriting news of another three Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Another bomb blast struck just outside the main U.S. Afghan base, injuring several, and suggesting no place in the troubled country is safe. What would it take to end violence in Afghanistan? John Murtha, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives committee overseeing defence spending, offers his opinion in this story: 600,000 troops. That makes the 17,000 President Barack Obama is sending, to bolster the 38,000 U.S. forces already there, look like barely a start–and the 2,500 Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan appear almost negligible.

Associated Press

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.