The pattern of the Trump presidency can be reasonably described as alarmingly erratic, but the one loosely consistent thread appears to be his belief that in some fashion there will be benefits from prolonged warfare. He will learn that the beneficiaries will be few but there will be countless victims.
Two months into the administration of Donald Trump, the US military is involved in a relentless military escalation from the Baltic Sea in Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The “war on terror” launched by the Bush administration more than fifteen years ago, having already turned much of the region into a slaughterhouse, is taking an even deadlier turn.
The US has turned down the Russian invitation for an international conference on Afghanistan. The reasons: the US wasn't consulted before receiving the invitation and doesn't know Russia's objectives for the gathering. Instead, State Secretary Rex Tillerson would bring up the matter when he visits Russia in April. Of course, he could touch upon the subject but it won’t be the same thing as participating in an international forum devoted specifically to the problem...
Afghanistan has long been called the “graveyard of empires,” the site of failed invasions. But the U.S. – in its 15-plus-year endeavor – seems determined to dig its own grave there, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.
The Washington Post published an opinion piece written by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, which argued that the war in Afghanistan is in a stalemate and the only way to break that stalemate is to give the commanding general more combat troops. If the president follows their advice, then the almost certain outcome will be an increase in U.S. casualties without any strategic impact on the outcome. The war will continue on without end or purpose.
China recently confirmed it was participating in “joint counterterrorism operations” inside Afghanistan. The size of Beijing’s force is still unclear but reports began surfacing last November that it was patrolling in northeastern Afghanistan’s Little Pamir region. Chinese mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, known as the Norinco VP 11, and Humvee-type vehicles known as the Dongfeng EQ2050 were clearly photographed in the remote Shia-populated area.
The erratic presidency of Mr Donald Trump is careering from policy to policy, mixing some up, cancelling others and inventing a few on the hoof while trying to cope with self-inflicted crises affecting important international affairs. The recent debacle over the enforced exit of National Security Adviser, General Flynn, was more than just a PR calamity, because it seems that some important international commitments then fell by the wayside.
It is now official beyond question. The senior ranks of the U.S. military and foreign-policy leadership have now fully succumbed to the belief that all problems in the Middle East and South Asia must include, at their core, the application of lethal military power...
The Afghan Defence Ministry welcomed on February 10 suggestions by the commander of international forces in Afghanistan that more troops were needed to train Afghan security forces who are battling to hold back a growing Taliban-led insurgency. Mr. Nicholson’s comments came just as US President Donald Trump and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani spoke by phone for the first time since Trump's inauguration last month.
Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and it seems it could go on indefinitely. President Trump has said he ‘will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past’ but has inherited a blunder that he is going to find very difficult to rectify. The situation in Afghanistan is dire to the point of disaster, but Mr Trump’s intentions are not yet clear. It is difficult, however, to imagine him approving negotiations with the Taliban.