The Trump administration seems set to roll-out a mini-surge of up to 5,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, likely increasing U.S. taxpayer costs to $30 billion per year. Before committing more money and troops to the intractable conflict, Congress should be sure that the United States is not throwing good money after bad. Here are six questions to ask.
1. Are the Taliban an international terrorist group or an Afghan insurgent group? Many Afghan elites insist the Taliban are terrorists. A negotiated outcome to the war in Afghanistan is possible if the Taliban are insurgents. With the Taliban reportedly in control of 11 percent of the country and contesting roughly 29 percent, hundreds of thousands of Afghans seem to have answered that question for themselves. 40 years of conflict, to include over 30 years of fighting between those supporting the Taliban and those supporting the government produces deep-seated animosities. The United States needs to understand these animosities, but not be held hostage to them.
Read the full article at The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentaryTrump Needs to Reestablish Deterrence with Iran
The attack attributed to Iran on Saudi Aramco oil facilities is the latest in a series of Iranian escalations—the May 14 and June 13 tanker attacks, the June 20 downing of a U...
By Kaleigh Thomas & Elisa Catalano Ewers
VideoNicholas Heras on Killing of ISIS Leader in U.S. Military Raid
The Center for a New American Security’s Nicholas Heras talked about the killing of ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. military raid in Syria. Listen to th...
By Nicholas Heras
PodcastDiscussing Turkey’s Offensive Against the Kurds in Syria with Nick Heras
The United States’ withdrawal and the Turkish military’s incursion into the Kurdish-controlled northeast have completely changed the balance of power in Syria. Without America...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Nicholas Heras
CommentaryThe Nonintervention Delusion
Richard Fontaine addresses the most frequently expressed concerns about U.S. military interventions and concludes that the use of military force will remain a key component of...
By Richard Fontaine