Two days after Trump ceded unilateral authority on Afghan troop deployments to the Department of Defense, the Pentagon wasted on time and according to AP, the Pentagon will send 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan to support existing forces and in hopes of breaking a stalemate in a war that has now been passed on to a third U. S. President. The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Donald Trump’s young presidency.
According to AP, the decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, and was prompted by “the rising threat posed by Islamic State extremists, evidenced in a rash of deadly attacks in the capital city of Kabul, has only fueled calls for a stronger U. S. presence, as have several recent American combat deaths.” Asked for comment, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said, ‘No decisions have been made.’
Trump’s decision Tuesday to give Mattis authority to set force levels in Afghanistan mirrored similar powers he handed over earlier this year for U. S. fights in Iraq and Syria. The change was made public hours after Sen. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Republican chairman, blasted Mattis for the administration’s failure to present an overarching strategy for Afghanistan. McCain said the U. S. is ‘not winning’ in Afghanistan, and Mattis agreed.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.