It’s been nearly 16 years since the United States and its NATO allies invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and US commander Gen. John Nicholson, the latest in a long line of commanders who’ve been charged with getting a handle on the conflict, is seeking an increase in US ground troops in the country.
The Afghan government is all for that, with Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani “welcoming” the call for several thousand more US troops, a move which comes as the Afghan government continues to lose territory to the Taliban, and after recent reports suggesting that the Taliban holds more territory now than at any time since 2001.
While both Bush and Obama Administrations made a big deal of trying to make Afghanistan self-sufficient, give or take a large annual subsidy to pay for their military, they don’t appear to be getting any closer, with the Taliban seemingly as strong as ever, and the Afghan military, as ever, huge and impotent, and waiting for foreign troops to bail them out of mounting losses.
The Obama Administration was willing early on to escalate the Afghan War to try to shift the momentum away from the Taliban, and the Trump Administration seems to be following down that road, with the lessons of the last 15 years of failure all but forgotten, and the expectation that a few thousand troops will make a difference.
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