Aug 15, 2017

Taliban responds to Trump's struggle on Afghanistan

Andrew Harnik/AP

In a letter to President Trump, the Taliban urged a withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to Al Jazeera.

"It seems to be a historical mistake on the part of the previous administrations to have dispatched American youth for the slaughter of Afghans," they wrote. "You need to study the mistakes of your predecessors and prevent death and injury to American forces in Afghanistan."

Bottom line: Republicans are getting restless waiting for a decision. In a June budget hearing, Sen. McCain told Sec. Mattis that it isn't "a hell of a lot to ask" for a winning strategy. And last Thursday, McCain revealed his own strategy, saying "time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide," according to CNN.

  • As the third president in the almost 16-year war, Trump has yet to establish an official strategy for Afghanistan.
  • Trump expressed lack of confidence in U.S. commander Gen. John Nicholson, and said the U.S. is "losing" the war.
  • NBC reported yesterday that Sec. Mattis believes they are "very, very close" to finishing a strategy, but hasn't decided whether to deploy more troops or not.
  • But in June, there were reports that Mattis would be sending 4,000 additional troops.
  • Blackwater founder Erik Prince has urged Trump to privatize the war, sending private contractors to "advise Afghan combat forces," according to USA Today.
  • In the Taliban's letter, they write that if the war couldn't be won with professional troops, it will never be won "with mercenaries, notorious contractor firms, and immoral stooges."
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