Mattis: US Needs More Boots on the Ground in Afghanistan

Gen. McKenzie: US likely to 'step up operations'

The US peace in Afghanistan is “dead” as far as President Trump is concerned, so what comes next? Unsurprisingly, it’s more war, and indications are that Pentagon figures past and present are pushing an escalation.

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM, said that a Taliban race to victory “is not going to happen,” while predicting that the US would step up the rate of its various military operations in Afghanistan.

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis was a bit more direct on advocating a substantial increase in US troops, saying the US cannot leave Afghanistan, and should put more “boots on the ground” now that peace is canceled.

This would be the second escalation of the Afghan War in President Trump’s first term in office. The first escalation went poorly, and the losses had been mounting so much the US was starting to get desperate for a way out. Now that they know the terms of peace, they seem to be prepared to keep engaging in an unsuccessful war for as long as they can.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of