Thursday, February 09, 2017

What took him so long


It is already more than two weeks since the inauguration and only now does the Commanding General of US troops in Shitholeistan come begging for more troops.
The commander of the American-led international military force in Afghanistan told Congress on Thursday that he needed a few thousand additional troops to more effectively train and advise Afghan soldiers.

“I have a shortfall of a few thousand,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said in a sober assessment of the United States’ longest-running war, during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

President Trump has said little about Afghanistan, speaking mainly instead of the need to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The American-led international force that is helping the Afghans has about 13,300 troops today, 8,400 of which are American.

Afghan forces have taken heavy casualties over the last year as they have sought to hold off the Taliban and prevent them from capturing Afghanistan’s provincial capitals.

Asked by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, if he was winning or losing, General Nicholson said bluntly, “I believe we are in a stalemate.”

General Nicholson repeated the assessments of previous commanders that the sanctuary that Taliban fighters and militant groups enjoy in Pakistan remains a major obstacle.

“It is very difficult to succeed on the battlefield when your enemy enjoys external support and safe haven,” he said. “We need to do a holistic review of our Pakistan policy.”

General Nicholson also complained that Russia was legitimizing the Taliban by inviting their representatives to Moscow and creating the “false narrative” that the Taliban is fighting Islamic State terrorists in Afghanistan. Russia’s goal, he said repeatedly, was “ to undermine the United States and NATO in Afghanistan,” expressing a far more skeptical view of the Kremlin’s intentions than Mr. Trump’s.

On the positive side, he said, the amount of territory in which the Islamic State operated in Afghanistan had been greatly reduced.
Give him a few thousand now and he will be back this summer for a few thousand more and so it goes. The most enduring myth from Shitholeistan is that a foreign army can actually win there.

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