August 11, 2017

Trump’s right — we are losing in Afghanistan

By Dr. Jason Dempsey

President Trump is not wrong on Afghanistan. During a contentious July meeting with his top military and national security advisors, he repeatedly questioned the quality of advice he was given, asserted that we were losing in Afghanistan, and repeatedly berated the American commander in Afghanistan, General Nicholson, as a “loser.”

On the first two points Trump is absolutely right. We are losing in Afghanistan and it is past time to ask hard questions of those who seek to double-down on the failed strategy of the past 16 years. However, on the third point he is wrong to paint Nicholson as the loser of Afghanistan. Our failures cannot be laid at the feet of one commander. Our failures have been executed by bureaucratic committee, with enough different commanders rotated through Afghanistan that each can claim incremental success without anyone owning the overall failure.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill.

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