The top military commander in Afghanistan mightily praised President Donald Trump’s strategy decisions for the war in Afghanistan, calling it a “game changer” after 16 years of stalemate there.
U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson said getting rid of any set exit date, the unleashing of American air power, declining popularity of the Taliban and the improving capabilities of the Afghan National Army have all combined to turn the tables in Southwest Asia.
The Trump policy policy “is really fundamentally different,” Nicholson told Pentagon reporters in a video briefing via link from Afghanistan. “That’s why I express confidence that we are on our way to win.”
Under new authority granted by the commander-in-chief, Nicholson has been able to dramatically increase the number of bombs being dropped on Taliban targets. Nicholson has tripled the number of bombs dropped on Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State targets: 3,554 in the first 10 months of this year, compared to 1,337 in all of 2016.
Also, he’s now able to directly target the Taliban’s opium, using to make heroin, which is the primary source of funding for the group.
“The Taliban cannot win in the face of the pressures that I outlined,” Nicholson said. “Their choices are to reconcile, live in irrelevance, or die.”
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