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IPFS News Link • Afghanistan

Coming This Year to Afghanistan: Way More Artillery Strikes


The plan for 2013 is for the 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan to draw down to an as-yet-undecided size at an as-yet-undecided pace. Those that remain will take a back seat to Afghans by the spring, as the Afghans plan and execute their own operations, a subtle shift from the “partnered” patrols the U.S. emphasized in 2012. Only the Afghans don’t yet have some of the crucial equipment, particularly fighter aircraft and attack helicopters, to help units that come under fire.

With the Afghans’ relative absence of close air support, “what we must do, then, is bring the surface fire capability to fruition, and that’s the indirect fire, observed indirect fire,” Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, the day-to-day commander of the war, told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.