After years of severely limiting US joint operations with Afghan troops, President Trump has authorized US troops to accompany the Afghan military on combat operations across the country, intended that US forces will request airstrikes and artillery fire.
This is in keeping with the ongoing US escalation in Afghanistan, which is intended to prevent the Taliban from continuing to overrun more territory. Though the Pentagon had presented the troops as on an advise and assist mission it seemed likely this would involve US combat eventually.
On the other hand, the whole reason the US military began severely limiting direct contact with the Afghan military in the first place is because of massive numbers of “green-on-blue” attacks in which Afghan troops or infiltrators were killing US troops.
This points to the US plan for the Afghan escalation being to get more troops to the front lines faster, no matter how it’s done. This again underscores that the Pentagon’s claim of a “stalemate” is false. In reality, the US-backed forces are losing ground, and the Pentagon is scrambling to try to slow those losses down.
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