Reactions in Afghanistan to the US plan of a troop surge are mixed. While the Afghan President Hamid Karzai supports the extra soldiers, he said there was a need to explain the increase to the people.
One Afghan said: “Boosting the number of US troops could simply increase the Afghan people’s anger against strangers in their country. Russia increased its troops here, but it did not work. Increasing troops will not stop the fighting, it will just increase it” 2009 is shaping up to be the deadliest year yet for coalition troops – twice as deadly as 2008. Afghan MP Shukria Barikzai said: “It seems to me at least that President Obama is very far away from reality and truth in Afghanistan. And what is their strategy? What they are saying and or what they’re doing in Afghanistan is completely two different issues.” Currently, as part of their Operation Enduring Freedom, the US is the largest contributing nation to the international force. Haroon Mir, head of Afghanistan Centre for Policy and Research said: “We will certainly need the US presence in Afghanistan to support the Afghan security forces probably for a longer time, probably for another decade” The total number of US troops will go up to around 100,000. However, the aim is to begin a troop withdrawal in 2011.