U.S. soldiers near Forward Operating Base Fenty in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on December 19, 2014. Lucas Jackson / Reuters
The last thing Trump should do is further escalate the level of violence in Afghanistan and fall into a long-term occupation of the country.
The Trump administration is in the final stages of a review of its Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy. There appears to be a consensus in favor of a modest surge of U.S. and NATO forces, perhaps deployed at the brigade or even battalion level with Afghan forces as part of an expanded train, advise and assist mission. Other complementary options are being considered, including a tougher approach toward Pakistan, possibly involving a renewed drone campaign in the country and the option of, down the road, declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terror.
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WNU Editor: As long as there are safe havens for the Taliban in Pakistan (and maybe in Iran) .... coupled with a culture of corruption that permeates throughout Afghan society .... there will be no end to this war. 5,000 additional troops or 50,000 additional troops ....it is not going to change the dynamics on the ground over the long term.