President Trump is definitely not pleased with the lack of progress in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It’s now the longest war in America’s history. In an NBC report, Trump expresses his frustration in comments over the war. He is disappointed with the military leaders there and I join him in that… partially. I think McMasters needs to go. He’s too liberal for my tastes. But Mattis should stay and be given room to do what he needs to do. This is more about the rules of engagement than progress there. Those need to be changed so the military can actually do what needs to be done in the field.
Trump was blunt… we are losing in Afghanistan. We have actually lost ground to the Taliban. I can understand his frustration. He’s given full autonomy to his generals and we still aren’t turning this around. I’ve even heard through the grapevine that Eric Prince, of Blackwater fame, has given the President a presentation over what private contractors could accomplish versus the military. That same rumor says that Trump has given Mattis a year to turn this around. I have no idea if that is true, but it feels right.
“We aren’t winning,” Trump said, according to officials speaking to NBC. “We are losing.” Then he laid into Mattis, McMaster and the rest of the national security team. Trump doesn’t like a long drawn out war scenario. He wants it done with and over. I can’t blame him for that. And he hates having to clean up the messes left by former presidents. The military meeting took place in mid-July.
One of Trump’s biggest issues is that China is making money off of Afghanistan’s minerals, while America is spending money on security there. You are either making money, or spending money in the business world. Trump even went so far as to draw a comparison with a restaurant renovation debacle in the 1980s in New York City led by consultants, suggesting that the waiters on the ground likely had better ideas. That’s a slap at the military leadership.
Trump has repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war. With the war heading into its 16th year and with the U.S. having approximately 8,400 troops in the theater there, I’d say something’s gotta give. Despite their best efforts, U.S. military leaders have yet to provide Trump with a strategy that he trusts that will lead to victory. To Trump, that is totally unacceptable.
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