February 27, 2017

Selling Trump a new Afghanistan commitment

By Christopher D. Kolenda

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist(s) Josh Rogin

The Trump administration is considering whether to plunge more resources and troops into the United States’ longest war — Afghanistan — as some of the president’s top generals are calling for. The issue pits President Trump’s commitment to end nation-building against his promise to stamp out terrorism in a conflict where a clear U.S. strategy is sorely lacking.

After more than 15 years of U.S. fighting, the war is at a crossroads. The Afghan national security forces are on their heels. The government is asking the United States and its NATO partners to help it go on offense against the Taliban, which has been taking territory with the help of Pakistan, Iran and Russia. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson, has publicly testified that he wants “a few thousand” more troops there. He also says there is a need for a more “holistic review” of the mission.

As Defense Secretary Jim Mattis prepares a formal recommendation to the White House, debate has renewed in Washington on whether the United States is throwing good money after bad in Afghanistan. But as far as the Afghan government is concerned, there’s really no safe alternative.

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

  • Christopher D. Kolenda

    Adjunct Senior Fellow

    Christopher D. Kolenda is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He recently served as the senior advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Depar...