Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24, 2017. DoD Photo
Everyone was waiting for President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan. But the announcement of that strategy came as a repeat of President Barack Obama’s original version of that strategy. It stated that Trump is likely to send as many as 5000 additional US troops to Afghanistan.
Like almost all policies in the realm of domestic and foreign policy, Trump liked nothing about his predecessor’s way of conducting the Afghan war. So, the expectation was that he would announce a different approach to that war. But Afghanistan has a forbidding way of surprising everyone.
After sending his Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and his National Security Advisor, Lt. General H.R. McMaster, to Afghanistan on “fact finding missions,” Trump found out that the Afghan war is not a winnable one; and the United States has no choice but to stay put and find some sort of a negotiated solution. In the interim, increasing ground troops appears to be a make-believe version of a strategy. That was precisely what Obama was doing.
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WNU Editor: U.S. Secretary of Defense Mattis sums it up ....
.... “We’re under no illusions about the challenges associated with this mission. 2017 is going to be another tough year” for the Afghan and coalition security forces.
In short .... there is no path to victory.