Amid calls for more boots on the ground, Trump will send top adviser to Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — The White House will dispatch National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan where he will assess whether more military personnel are needed to break the stalemate there.
President Donald Trump announced the Army general's impending war-zone visit during a White House press conference Wednesday. Joined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said McMaster's objective is to "find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners." A White House spokesman confirmed the trip is imminent but declined to provide any additional details.
Approximately 12,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan. About 8,400 of them are Americans, and their mission is twofold: to advise and assist Afghan forces battling the Taliban, and hunt down terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
Officials have not said why Trump tapped his national security adviser for this assignment, a move that's sure to be discussed in the Pentagon and in Kabul given the four-star Nicholson's vast background in Afghanistan. McMaster is a three-star general, and a deeply respected military strategist with experience there and in Iraq.
His trip coincides with a broader White House strategy review intended to establish the United States' next steps for the Afghanistan campaign. - Read More, militarytimes