I have neglected my primary focus of international relations and conflict management….there has been so much drama flying around the president and the country that I felt it needed analysis.
I will try to return to my strength……
Afghanistan is America’s longest ever war and may well be the longest of all time….there is so much happening there but the media has fresh blood to chase…Russia, Harvey, etc…..
Trump recently gave a speech outlining his “new” Afghanistan policy.(sadly it sounds a lot like the “old” Afghanistan policy)…..
But they say it will be a new approach……..
On the morning of 31 May 2017, a 1,500-kilogram truck bomb was detonated outside the German Embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul, only streets away from the US and Australian missions. Windows were smashed all the way from Great Massoud Square to the Haji Yaqub mosque in Shahr-e Naw, over 90 people were killed, and over 500 were injured. If ever there was an indicator that a fresh approach to dealing with the insurgency in Afghanistan was required, then this was it.
On 21 August, after a somewhat agonising series of discussions involving senior US military personnel plus a motley group of presidential associates, US President Donald Trump gave a speech at Fort Myer, Virginia, that sought to outline such an approach. President Trump’s speech was very well received in Afghanistan, met with some consternation in Pakistan, and was quietly welcomed by a satisfied Indian leadership.
The news reports lately have estimated the troop strength at 8400…..but that also was a lie (go figure)…….
Pentagon officials have finally acknowledged the actual number of American forces in Afghanistan after long camouflaging the total in misleading accounting measures and red tape. Senior Defense Department officials said Wednesday there are about 11,000 US forces currently deployed to Afghanistan—thousands more than the 8,400 that were allowed under the previous administration’s troop cap. Military officials have long quietly acknowledged there were far more forces in the country than the cap allowed, but commanders shuffled troops in and out, labeled many “temporary,” and used other personnel accounting tactics to artificially keep the public count low, the AP reports.
Pentagon officials refused to provide similar details for Iraq and Syria, where there also are thousands more US troops than the Pentagon publicly admits. The Afghanistan troop numbers announcement comes as the Pentagon is preparing to deploy several thousand more Americans to the country in order to expand the training and advising of Afghan forces and beef up counterterror operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked groups. Officials have said the US will send as many as 3,900 more troops to the war—which would bring the number of publicly recognized troops there to about 15,000.
With an increase of troops to Afghanistan Trump also gave Pakistan an ultimatum on their part in the fight in the country……
The Middle East was not mentioned in President Donald Trump’s major policy speech on August 20 — not even Iran, which has a common border with Afghanistan. The omission was curious given that the New York Times reported earlier this month that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was allying, perversely, given the Shia-Sunni divide, with Taliban fighters to keep the central government in Kabul destabilized. Instead, the focus of the new strategy, as laid out in the speech and the official talking points, was “South Asia,” with Pakistan, described as an “important partner,” being warned to change its behavior, while India is characterized as a “valued partner.” But though unmentioned, Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, longtime allies of Pakistan, are likely to have to choose where they stand. And Iran’s predilection for mischief will have to be thwarted.
All this jockeying for position is NOTHING. This war is the same song in every way.