Pentagon press secretary John Kirby today defended the Pentagon's decision to send 3,000 US troops into Afghanistan as "prudent preparation," suggesting it is necessary to send so many in order to plan for the worst case scenario.
"This is about prudent preparation," said Kirby, responding to a reporter's question on why the US was sending such a "high" number of troops. "We want to make sure that we've got enough on hand to adapt to any contingencies."
"Your question about the numbers being too high, we believe it is appropriate to the security situation that we see now and that we can anticipate possibly in the future," he continued.
"The secretary believes the safety and security of our people, not just American troops, but our allies and partners and our State Department colleagues is of paramount concern," Kirby added. "He is not going to add additional risk to that safe movement."
Two of the infantry battalions headed to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul are US Marines and one is US Army, Kirby said. All three battalions are coming from the Central Command area of responsibility, which is the part of the US military based in the Middle East.