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August 23, 2017

Trump Sends More Troops Into The Afghanistan Meatgrinder

This is one for the diary / timekeeping function of this blog. This Monday, Prez Trump announced the new Afghanistan strategy, promising to send in a couple thousand(?) more troops in. No surprise so far. It breaks yet another of his campaign promises, though hope of a policy silver lining in the Trump Administration is pretty dead by now.

News Articles following the announcement recounted the lobbying efforts of the generals in top executive branch positions, to get the move approved by Trump himself. If anything, the move says more about the policy stance of the Pentagon than of anyone else.

The ostensible direct goal: prevent the fall of the government in Kabul, so as to buy time to figure out what to really do.

The big picture: Not sure. The original 9/11 justification is long gone. Prevent Afghanistan from being controlled by various enemies? Alas, Afghanistan’s position on the map doesn’t block any country from any other country. There might be “valuable minerals”. Last but not least, a byline to the announcement was frustration with Pakistan’s lack of cooperation. With a strong China connection, nuclear weapons, and a population of 200 million, we won’t be invading. Fortunately for everyone. The allusions to indirect methods raise the possibility of inciting Indo-Paki conflict (again… nuclear. 1.5 billion people involved. not good.)


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