Trump to Pentagon,
“What does Winning Look like in Afghanistan?”
Culture shock in DC now extends to the Pentagon. Specifically when it comes to defining Foreign Policy Strategy as it impacts Military Operations.
As a businessman, Trump goes to the bottom line with every deal. What does it mean to win and what does it look like in this particular deal. We have been embroiled in conflict in Afghanistan since October, 2001. We have seen what Bush thought was victory, then a redo with the surge, to Obama replacing combat with tentative engagement. Trump will not approve of a military strategy in Afghanistan until he is convinced that he knows and believes what winning this conflict would look like and what will be the cost in blood and treasure. Period.
Apparently, in his meetings with DOD he was presented with a continuation of our prior strategy and was not satisfied with the strategy nor did he hear what winning would mean to the US. Until he does, he will continue to press Mattis and McMaster and others.
While the MSM and talking heads are going nuts over not being able to pin Trump down on an Afghanistan strategy, why get in a hurry after almost 17 years of misery and all too many casualties and injured servicemen and servicewomen.
- Trump has correctly said in the past that winning in Afghanistan has to include operations in Pakistan or we will continue to play “tag” with the Taliban scurrying back and forth from Afghanistan to their “safe space” in Pakistan.
- He has also indicated that anyone who receives billions from the US (Pakistan), must support our strategies or risk losing our aid. Of course Trump detractors say that Pakistan is a nuclear nation so we can’t risk alienating them. How about if you get$2B in aid and you probably can’t risk alienating us!
Trump also knows that doing nothing is also an option. He will not naively dip his toe in an unwinnable conflict if he is not convinced that winning is not only attainable, but the likely outcome. He believes that he owes this to our men and women in the military.