there they go again! An AP report by Lolita Baldor and Robert Burns
confirms that the Pentagon (having been given the authority by President
Trump, who would prefer not to take responsibility for such decisions)
will send up to 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to "break the
stalemate" there. Where have we heard all this before? Even in
Washington at this point can't they imagine, almost 16 years later, what
the results are going to be? How brain-dead do you have to be to keep
on keeping on when the results have long been in on such moves? Tom
"The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to
Afghanistan, a Trump administration official said Thursday, hoping to
break a stalemate in a war that has now passed to a third U.S. commander
in chief. The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under
Donald Trump's young presidency.
"The decision by Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, the
official said. It follows Trump's move to give Mattis the authority to
set troop levels and seeks to address assertions by the top U.S.
commander in Afghanistan that he doesn't have enough forces to help
Afghanistan's army against a resurgent Taliban insurgency. The rising
threat posed by Islamic State extremists, evidenced in a rash of deadly
attacks in the capital city of Kabul, has only fueled calls for a
stronger U.S. presence, as have several recent American combat deaths.
"The bulk of the additional troops will train and advise Afghan forces,
according to the administration official, who wasn't authorized to
discuss details of the decision publicly and spoke on condition of
anonymity. A smaller number would be assigned to counterterror
operations against the Taliban and IS, the official said.
"Asked for comment, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said, "No decisions have been made."
"Daulat Waziri, a spokesman for Afghanistan's defense ministry, was
reluctant to comment on specifics Friday but said the Afghan government
supports the U.S. decision to send more troops.
States knows we are in the fight against terrorism, " he said. "We want
to finish this war in Afghanistan with the help of the NATO alliance."
"There was no immediate report whether NATO allies would also increase
their troop commitment to Afghanistan. The U.S. currently has 8,500
troops deployed in Afghanistan.
"We are the frontline in the war against international terrorism," Waziri said.
"Although Trump has delegated authority for U.S. troop numbers in
Afghanistan, the responsibility for America's wars and the men and women
who fight in them rests on his shoulders. Trump has inherited America's
longest conflict with no clear endpoint or a defined strategy for
American success, though U.S. troop levels are far lower than they were
under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. In 2009, Obama
authorized a surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, bringing the total
there to more than 100,000, before drawing down over the rest of his