Kabul Bombing Adds to Hawks’ Push for US Buildup in Afghanistan

Afghan Govt's Struggles Come at an Opportune Time for Those Pushing Escalation

With President Trump expected to announce his decision on troop levels in Afghanistan any day now, and signs that virtually all of the former generals in his administration are counseling escalation, the massive bombing in Kabul’s embassy district seems destined to add pressure for a big deployment of additional US ground troops.

President Trump has been believed to be leaning toward the escalation proposal at any rate, with Pentagon officials pushing the mounting losses of the Afghan military at the hands of the Taliban as proof they can’t manage without US help. The latest security failure in Kabul is likely to play into that narrative.

Of course, mounting losses and failing security have been constant irrespective of troop levels, but the reality of the situation is those generals pushing the idea that several thousand more troops would salvage the Afghan War are believed to have the president’s ear.

The deaths in Kabul come at a particularly opportune time for them, as they can use this to push for the deployment to be on the bigger side of the recommendations, said to be around 5,000 troops, and Trump will be able to sell the announcement to the public as “doing something” about this latest attack, as opposed to just the latest in a long line of failed deployments to a war lost long ago.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.