The 30,000 additional troops Barack Obama has ordered to Afghanistan could be dwarfed by another surge of up to 56,000 more civilian "contractors."
America's contractors have been the hidden Afghan army for years just as they were/are in Iraq. When added in to the total of US forces, the Pentagon actually fielded a considerably larger force in Afghanistan than the Soviets had there at their peak. Now with a reinforcement upwards of 86,000 military/civilian personnel, the combined US contingent will eclipse the Soviet effort.
There was a remarkable story on CTV National News this evening. Afghan Generalissimo Stan McChrystal was in Ottawa where, according to the rarely-reliable, marginally-intelligible Conservative Television Network, he vowed to "defeat" the Taliban by this time next year. That's defeat as in D-E-F-E-A-T, as in "game over-we win"! Wait a second, I've got it. McChrystal is simply going to send them personnel carriers full of greenbacks and relabel them "contractors." Brilliant.
Meanwhile Lloyd himself barely stifled a yawn as he launched into the obligatory Afghan torture/Richard Colvin clip. In the highest Conservative Television Network standard it was craftfully edited to have Colvin appear first followed by a re-run of old video of Hillier denying claims Colvin made the first time. Cheese and grease, all in the same story.
Returning to McChrystal, he did mention that he'll defeat the Taliban within the next twelve months but there's a catch. He'll do it by next Christmas provided the Afghan government is purged of corruption by then and Pakistan relocates to some other shitty corner of the world.
Shit, oh dear.