When President was merely a candidate and a hopeful, he promised America that our forces were not going to be used all over the world like cannon fodder any longer. He also swore to defeat terrorism no matter where it hid, so thetoday from the Free Beacon that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is preparing to move U.S. troops in Afghanistan “closer to the front lines to fight alongside government forces in an effort to force the Taliban into peace negotiations,” it is not that he broke his word.
Just the same, why are we negotiating with the Taliban at all? Aren’t we supposed to be defeating them?
“The fighting will continue to be carried out by our Afghan partners, but our advisers will accompany tactical units to advise and assist and bring NATO fire support to bear when needed,” said Mattis as he spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The one they’ve nicknamed “Mad Dog” also said, “Make no mistake, this is combat duty, but the Afghan forces remain in the lead to do the fighting.”
To the Trump base who has been lied to by other politicians (though the White House has thus far been pretty honest), this sounds like America is standing with both heels on banana peels as they stand behind Afghan troops on the front line. That, if true, is not good news since both the U.S. and Russia have been stranded in that nation before.
Even more potentially disturbing is that three thousand troops may be called and sent over, as well. This, Mattis says, is to “enable the NATO-led mission to reinforce training and advisory support at the battalion and brigade levels and to provide them with enhanced coalition air support.”
As long as it actually works this time, if it is “in and out,” if peace does result, and if the war actually ENDS like wars used to, then this is fine, However, that has not in any way been America’s track record lately.
“We intend to drive fence-sitters and those who will see that we are not quitting this fight to reconcile with the Afghan national government,” testified Mattis. “Our goal is a stabilized Afghanistan achieved by an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process.”
Hopefully, it works that way. The president has done quite well thus far with only a few major letdowns for his base. That means that he has our trust and is worthy of it.
Let us hope that he knows that.
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