It has been one month since the United States dropped the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan. Now, President Trump debates if military expansion is the right move for the battle of the Middle East, reports Salon.
Some troop numbers rumored to increase in Afghanistan are similar to the war against the Taliban. The new plan gives the Pentagon the authority to establish higher troop counts in the Middle East instead of running increases through the White House directly. Therefore, this further expands the military’s authority to use airstrikes and troop deployments as they see fit — and eliminate the restrictions imposed by President Obama.
Trump Plans to Knockdown the 16-Year War
The war in the Middle East has gone on for long enough, and Trump’s decision is likely his way of putting an end to the 16-year stalemate. Senior military advisors and Trump are working on a new strategy, says Telegraph. This approach will improve American military presence in the Middle East, with possibly 3,000 to as many as 5,000 troops — including hundreds from the Special Operations forces.
Trump’s senior military advisors have recommended an expansion since his inauguration, and they think increasing the American forces in the Middle East will better help Afghan security forces and push back the Taliban attempting to take over.
The White House typically approves such measures, and they may have numbers and approval before the NATO meeting on the 25th of May in Brussels.
Right now, there are 13,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan with 8,4000 coming from the United States. More than 2,000 are involved in specific missions against terrorist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda, but most are training Afghan security forces.
General John Nicholson, the commander of the American-led international military force in the Middle East, requested that Congress increase troop count so that he could better train Afghan security forces. The United States and NATO allies were already facing a deadlock after sending troops over 15 years ago to the country.
Afghan security forces have received substantial opposition and suffered catastrophic losses over the past year as they tried to prevent the Taliban from recapturing lands. President Trump has not yet made his decision final, but during his presidential campaign he made it clear that he planned to put “America First.”
However, part of his vow to the country was to end Islamic extremist groups, so it would make sense that Trump might have to increase Troop counts in the Middle East if he hopes to resolve issues out there. While Trump might despise the idea of getting caught in foreign conflicts, he recognizes the fact that the U.S. is already well rooted into the conflict and cannot just pull out and move on.
The Obama administration previously set restrictions and timelines to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan and slowly remove the United States as the forces in the country stabilized. However, critics feel that Trump needs to explain his new strategy and how more troops would resolve a conflict that has been going on for almost two decades.
Fierce fighting has been occurring around the city of Kunduz, which is one that the Taliban has come close to recapturing twice now. The fears of the residents are growing, and some have begun to flee the area.
The fight is continuing, and military operations are underway to push back the Taliban, which grows in numbers daily. For the U.S. and other coalition forces to take hold, the military presence in Afghanistan likely needs to increase to keep up with the bolster Taliban numbers.