APNewsBreak: About 4000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan

Randolph Lopez
June 16, 2017

This expected decision follows on the heels of President Donald Trump's move to grant Mattis the authority to set troops levels in Afghanistan. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee's Republican chairman, blasted Mattis for the administration's failure to present an overarching strategy for Afghanistan. Afghan security forces are leading the fight and USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops are serving as advisers and providing air and other critical support.

We observed in a May 31 article, "Kabul Bomb Blast Could Be Used to Justify Increase in U.S. Troops in Afghanistan", that as the Trump administration - like the previous Obama and Bush administrations - considers whether to increase the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, we might review why our troops were sent there in the first place, and whether that was a good decision. Rather, it ensures the Department of Defense can facilitate our missions and align our commitment to the rapidly evolving security situation, giving our troops greater latitude to provide air power and other vital support.

The additional troops will allow the US -led coalition to provide more advisers to Afghan combat units.

"We're not looking at a purely military strategy", Mattis told a House Appropriations panel Thursday.

As a candidate, Trump deplored the waste of America's wars and suggested he would try to end them.

Most of the new troops heading to Afghanistan will play the role of training and advising Afghan troops. "Not winning" means we're losing, yet how likely is it that the usa military, effectively under the command of retired General Mattis, is going to shift gears completely and withdraw?

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"We can not allow Afghanistan to once again become a launching point for attacks on our homeland or on our allies", he said, alluding to the former Taliban government's granting haven to Al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2011 terror attacks in the US. Two months earlier, Trump gave Mattis similar authority over USA forces in Iraq and Syria.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, "I'm glad that Trump is smart enough to understand that you know more than he does and he is empowering you to make us safe".

A report from Politico stated that the United States has approximately 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. "But I don't think that takes away President Trump's responsibility for that decision".

While the new troops could raise fears of mission creep, Mattis told lawmakers this week he didn't envision returning to the force levels of 2010-11, when Obama thought he could pressure the Taliban into peace talks.

Mattis explained that while President Trump had delegated to him "the details of forces that will be allocated to support what he approves finally as a strategy" for Afghanistan, "I assure you this is not a carte blanche for me to come up with numbers that are going into this".

Thanks to the vigilance and skill of the USA military and our many allies and partners, horrors on the scale of September 11, 2001, have not been repeated on our shores.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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