While President Trump mulls a pair of choices on the escalation of US military involvement in Afghanistan, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned the Senate that the situation in Afghanistan is not just getting worse, but will continue to worsen irrespective of which option the US chooses.
The Afghan military has been losing ground to the Taliban for a long time, holding less territory now than at any time since the 2001 US invasion. Coats warned the intelligence community believes this situation “will almost certainly deteriorate” further through at least the end of 2018.
The plans the Pentagon have offered reportedly include either sending 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan, or leaving troop levels flat while focusing on protecting “high-value targets.” Coats insisted the “modest” escalation wouldn’t change things.
On top of that, Coats warned that Afghanistan would remain heavily dependent on the international community “until it contains the insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the Taliban.” In recent months, there’s been no sign of either happening, which likely explains the grim outlook into the foreseeable future.
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