Opinion Afghanistan: We Must Decide on a New War Strategy

19:51  09 october  2018
19:51  09 october  2018 Source:   realclearpolitics.com

Trump's new strategy 'is working,' Afghan leader says

  Trump's new strategy 'is working,' Afghan leader says Despite seventeen years of war with no apparent victory in sight for the U.S-led effort, the chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, insists that the Trump administration renewed approach to the stalemate conflict “is working.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); “Imagine a situation without that commitment. Things would be very different. It is working,” he told Fox News in an exclusive interview during last week’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

A new strategy for Afghanistan . By. Graciana del Castillo. Reducing the war economy must take priority given that these groups finance themselves mostly through the drug Part three assesses the overall reconstruction strategy and identifies six specific factors which, although they are not

President Trump holds a national security meeting at Camp David Friday to decide on a new strategy for the conflict in Afghanistan .

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Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Sunday marked the 17th anniversary of the start of war in Afghanistan, the "War on Terror." Originally referred to as Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. invasion was America's response to the attacks of 9/11, still the deadliest terrorist strike in world history. Home to the training camps and masterminds behind the 9/11 carnage, Afghanistan was the proper target for an aggrieved and angry nation intent on punishing the perpetrators - and preventing future attacks. But somewhere along the line, this operation evolved into a conflict that historian Andrew J. Bacevich Sr. termed the "Permanent War for Permanent Peace." And it has left our nation weary, if not apathetic.

A US service member has been killed in action in Afghanistan ahead of 17th anniversary of the war's start

  A US service member has been killed in action in Afghanistan ahead of 17th anniversary of the war's start A US service member was killed in Afghanistan Thursday in an unspecified incident that is currently under investigation. This loss comes just days ahead of the 17th anniversary of the start of the War in Afghanistan.The incident is under investigation, officials said.

Mattis: New Afghanistan strategy decided . "Since taking office, I have made clear that our allies and partners must contribute much more money to our collective defense, and they have done so." Photos: Afghanistan : America's longest war. A US soldier puts a blanket on a detainee during a

President Trump unveiled a new strategy for the U . S . war in Afghanistan on Aug. “ We must rebuild our country first.” As a candidate, he argued for a more isolationist approach to foreign policy. Recent foreign wars, he told his supporters, had drained the United States of blood and treasure at the

Costing somewhere between $1.5 trillion and $5.6 trillion and the lives of nearly 6,000 U.S. service members (including 2,347 OEF deaths as of August 2018), the ultimate burden of war has been borne by an increasingly small portion of the population. And while support for OEF in the wake of 9/11 was overwhelming, the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq made the overall "war on terror" increasingly unpopular and Afghanistan a distant concern.

During the WMD maelstrom, the men and women in uniform continued to battle fierce insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the war in Iraq turned into a partisan divide, providing an excuse for many Americans to lose interest in both wars.

Polling conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Charles Koch Institute and RealClearPolitics reflects skepticism of the war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) and a surprising lack of support for the initial invasion of Afghanistan, with 36 percent of military respondents considering the invasion a mistake. Only 30 percent of civilian respondents felt that the invasion was the correct choice, compared to 50 percent of military respondents.

Taliban urge Afghans to boycott polls, reject peace talks

  Taliban urge Afghans to boycott polls, reject peace talks The Taliban on Monday directed Afghans to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections and demanded a complete withdrawal of foreign forces as the only solution to end the 17-year-old war as they ramped up attacks in strategic provinces. The statement from the hardline Islamic militant group coincided with the visit of top U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been appointed to lead peace efforts with the Taliban. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

President Trump holds a national security meeting at Camp David Friday to decide on a new strategy for the conflict in Afghanistan .

But we must also acknowledge the reality I am here to talk about tonight: that nearly 16 years after September 11th attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan , the

A slight majority of survey respondents have concluded that the war in Afghanistan was either a mistake or has failed to achieve stated objectives. Extrapolating further, Americans have lost sight of the war's original mission: to kill or capture al-Qaeda members responsible for 9/11 and deny safe haven to them by removing the Taliban from power.

A majority of both military and civilian respondents feel that the U.S. should either draw down significantly -- from the current troop count at just over 8,000 -- or end involvement altogether.

What has led so many to become so disenchanted with the war effort in Afghanistan?

One potential explanation is that the highly scrutinized Iraq War left Afghanistan as an afterthought. The original invasion, launched against those that actually attacked the U.S., becamea neglected conflict held ransom to the effort to quell a growing insurgency in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State gained ground in Afghanistan.

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Before a new strategy is adopted, the administration has said it would review its approach to the broader South Asia region, including Pakistan and India. Mattis has said he would commit to troop level adjustments after the administration agrees on a coherent strategy for Afghanistan and the

The war in Afghanistan , spanning 16 years and the presidential terms of Trump's two predecessors, remains a serious challenge for the US military. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis admitted the lack of a sound strategy on Afghanistan during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in

The flawed justification for the invasion of Iraq turned the media and popular opinion against both wars, leaving those who serve in the military as victims in a political power play. With a small minority of Americans in uniform, disinterest or adamant opposition to these wars became all too convenient.

Afghanistan, like the war in Vietnam, was shaped by political perceptions, in this case an expedient response to the horrors of 9/11.

America's inability to frame military engagements in the context of ends, ways and means, but instead as a politically divisive tool for partisanship, comes at the expense of lost lives and trillions of dollars. For the sake of those serving our country, it is incumbent on our nation's leadership of all political stripes to come together to prudently employ our men and women as our means to a defined ends.

As a U.S. Marine who served, and was wounded, in this endless war myself, I found inspiration a scene inthe 2017 World War II movie "Darkest Hour." The inspiration came not from any battlefield scene, but one that takes place in a palace dining room. There, King George VI implores Winston Churchill to be honest and open with the British people regarding the threat posed by the Nazis. As a nation, we should do the same. It begins by honestly assessing the threats we face today from hostile nations and transnational terrorist groups alike, to formulate a lasting national strategy that transcends partisan politics.

Lacking a clear national strategy, our involvement in Afghanistan has become a quagmire. But that needn't be a permanent condition. As George Washington University adjunct professor Gary Anderson and others have written, it is time to reassess how America wages such regional conflicts. And as the Taliban slowly regains control of much of Afghanistan, while elements of al-Qaeda and Islamic State are increasing their footprint, it's long past time for U.S. leaders to alter their approach.

We owe it to ourselves to insist that they do so.

The death of a soldier in Afghanistan this past week went largely unnoticed, a sad reminder of just how detached we have become from what is the longest war in America's history. We owe it not only to our fallen comrade but to our country to have a crisis of strategy. To prevent the bleeding of money and lives and the future security of the nation, we must come together to consider who we are and how we achieve our desired ends before it ends us all.

Gunfire erupts in Afghan governor’s compound after meeting with U.S. commander.
Afghan officials said two U.S. soldiers were wounded but that Gen. Scott Miller was unhurt.

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