Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump Will Inherit a Losing War in Afghanistan - MATTHEW GAULT

He didn’t break it, but he needs to decide to either buy it or return it

For almost two decades, American military forces have fought against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other militant groups in Afghanistan. The war goes on and more than 8,400 U.S. troops remain in the country to fight it.

Afghanistan is complicated and it’s easy to toss up our hands, say “who cares” and walk away from the whole mess. That’s an option, but it betrays a level of ignorance about what’s going on in the country that’s not justified.

The truth is, U.S. military leaders on the ground and outside observers know what’s going right and what’s going wrong in Afghanistan. The problem in Afghanistan is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of understanding, but a lack of will on the part of American politicians to either cut and run or stay and fight.

America’s existing policy of slowly allowing the situation to play out without a clear, communicated goal or end-game for the American and Afghan people isn’t sustainable.

On Jan. 11, 2016, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies — a Washington, D.C. think tank — Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Spoko made the case for staying in Afghanistan. He appealed to president-elect Trump and begged Americans not to forget about a war began more than 15 years ago.

Sopko’s speech was succinct and pragmatic. He laid out eight different problem areas facing Afghanistan and used clear language to drive home their importance.

“The most basic challenge that bedevils Afghanistan today is continued insecurity,” he said. Right now, Afghanistan can’t provide security for it’s own people nor can it pay for that security. - More, warisboring


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