On Monday night, President Trump backtracked on his promise not to expand the war in Afghanistan by doing just that in a speech that earned lackluster television ratings. He may have made this decision (at least in part) because General McMaster trucked out some mini-skirt photos, but during his announcement, Trump did not specify the number of additional troops that would be sent to finish the war. Reuters has now spoken to some senior administration officials who have placed the number at 3,900 troops — and deployments will reportedly begin before September.
Meanwhile, other U.S. officials, along with VP Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have resisted putting a definite number on this new push to end the war. However, all agree that the number will be substantial and in the thousands, but here’s more about that 3,900 number:
[U.S. officials] said the Pentagon has told Trump it needs that many fresh forces in addition to the roughly 8,400 Americans in the country to accomplish Trump’s objectives of “obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaida, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”
The 3,900 figure includes a combination of trainers, security forces and other support troops, according to the officials, who weren’t authorized to publicly discuss details about the the military planning and spoke on condition of anonymity. The exact number of arriving forces can vary as conditions change.
Earlier this year, Trump wanted to beef up the military budget by $54 billion, and he expressed as much in a bizarre speech about how “we have to start winning wars again.” So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the “two-minute man” didn’t resist too long before agreeing to send thousands more troops to win this conflict. All of this after he reportedly “berated” his generals because he doesn’t understand why this war has dragged on for so long. So, things are gonna start happening really fast. Yet will this be a winning strategy?
(Via Associated Press)