Most of the new troop surge in Afghanistan — reported to be in the neighborhood of 4,000 — will be made up of thousands of Army paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division and an airborne brigade from the 25th Infantry Division.
In addition, more air support will be sent as well and that will consist primarily of older platforms — F-16s and A-10s, but also, surprisingly, B-52s, the latter of which will be stationed in Qatar but tasked with Afghanistan support.
Finally, officials say that small detachments of Marine artillery, which will consist of about 100 troops per unit, will be sent to fill in gaps and provide additional fire support.
At the war’s height in 2011, there were more than 100,000 U.S. troops on the ground. More than 2,000 Americans have died in Afghanistan since the United States invaded the country in 2001. Ten U.S. troops have been killed by hostile fire so far in 2017.
The primary mission, we’re told, is to continue supporting and training the Afghan National Army.
Source: Washington Post
Why it’s on our radar: If you want to know why Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former top geopolitical advisor, left the administration — or was forced out, depending on whom you believe — this is it.
President Trump’s “new” Afghanistan strategy sounds an awful lot like the old Afghan strategy, at least as it pertains to the second Obama term. It’s not the “America first,” ‘let’s get out of these brush-fire wars’ kind of strategy that Gorka favored and Trump once spoke of.
What does seem different this time is that President Trump has signed off on his generals’ strategy of sending highly capable forces to the theater, and if we’re staying, then that’s an appropriate step (but doesn’t the addition of B-52s sound like a bit … much?).
However, though the view of the world always changes when you peer at the globe through Oval Office windows, there still does not appear to be an endgame plan for America’s longest war. And that’s what most Americans really want. But that’s not what they’re going to get — not in the short-to-mid-term and in all honesty, perhaps never.