Publication Date: July 2008
Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Research Area: Military and defense
As interest in troop level deployments continue, recently, President Bush announced in a February 15, 2007 speech, the administration's plans for an increase in U.S. forces in Afghanistan, including a planned gradual increase of 3,200 U.S. troops on the ground in the coming several months. The total troop deployment in this region is expected to reach 70,000 by 2008. Varying media estimates of military forces in Afghanistan have raised concerns about the actual number of U.S. troops currently deployed in the NATO and U.S. missions under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in that country. This report provides official Department of Defense (DOD) statistical information on U.S. forces now serving in Afghanistan with comparisons to earlier force levels. It also provides brief official information on the military units extended or scheduled for the next rotation of duty into Afghanistan. As of March 1, 2007, according to DOD, the United States had 24,845 troops stationed in Afghanistan -- 21,581 active component and 3,264 National Guard or Reserves. For security reasons, DOD does not routinely report the composition, size, or specific destination of military forces deployed to the Persian Gulf. This report will be updated upon receipt of new DOD data. For additional information on U.S. forces, see CRS Report RL33503, U.S. and Coalition Military Operations in Afghanistan: Issues for Congress, by Andrew Feickert.