The U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan is now well into its sixteenth year, making it America’s longest foreign war. Worse, there is no end in sight. In fact, military leaders are trying to convince President Trump to escalate U.S. involvement once more by sending several thousand additional troops into the fray. Pundits and foreign-policy commentators are engaged in a cottage industry to formulate yet more strategies to make the Afghanistan mission finally succeed.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) summit held in Brussels last week briefly turned the spotlight on Afghanistan. Over the past few years, global interest in the country has waned owing to the combination of sheer fatigue with a seemingly interminable conflict and the emergence of new threats and theatres of war. This was evident in the US’ policy towards Afghanistan during Barack Obama’s second term in office.
After a five-month-long interagency review process, senior officials have recommended that U.S. President Donald Trump send several thousand more troops to Afghanistan. The request is in line with proposals from General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and makes the consensus recommendation of about 3,000-5,000 more troops. But troop increases alone do not a strategy make. Scholars as varied as Stephen Walt and Michael O’Hanlon have argued that, to arrest rapid deterioration on the ground, the United States needs to situate the troops in a coherent strategy.
India’s decision to boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum has reinvigorated the much-needed debate on the strategic relationship between the two Asian giants. This debate comes on the heels of the February 23, 2017 India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, where the two states found, among their divergences, a convergence on Afghanistan that contradicts some of Delhi’s received wisdom.
Despite the US signing a bilateral security and defence pact with Afghanistan in 2014, civilian casualties are on the rise, the death rate of Afghan security forces is at an all time high, and terrorism has sharply increased
Reportedly, the Trump administration is considering adding several thousand U.S. troops—ideally accompanied by other NATO and foreign reinforcements too—to the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan. The current mission totals some 8,500 Americans, and roughly twelve thousand foreign troops in all, so the possible increase could amount to an augmentation of 30–50 percent in total personnel. In my judgment, this kind of increase would be sensible, for reasons discussed below.
Donald Trump said little about Afghanistan during the 2016 election, but his criticism of military interventionism raised the possibility he would try to extricate the US from a war that has lasted 16 years, cost $750bn dollars, and killed more than 2,300 US soldiers.
Source: Global Research
The people of few conflicted countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria hardly seem to get out of bloody wars. Syria, which is battling the regime change, would land into the same bloody fate of Afghanistan if it undergoes this transition. In both cases – before and after the regime change- the natives of these territories should pay the price of the West’s ambitious and hegemonic conspiracies.
Over the past few weeks, the northern Afghan province of Kunduz — until recent years a region relatively unaffected by the Taliban insurgency — has been the site of heavy clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.
“We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!” That was Donald Trump tweeting in November 2013. Fast forward and President Trump is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Although the precise troop numbers and particulars of their deployment are still being mapped out, all indications are that these additional forces would not directly contribute to the counter-terrorism mission. Rather, they would be sent to shore up the Afghan government forces fighting against the Taliban. As the White House reviews the proposed increase, there are numerous questions it should address. Four are paramount.