Mike Allen Aug 3
Trump's national security dominoes
One of the huge internal White House fights, which we hear will be resolved soon, concerns troops in Afghanistan:
- National security adviser H.R. McMaster supports Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' push for more troops; Steve Bannon thinks Americans won't support that and wants a slow drawdown. Bannon allies think they're winning.
- In June, Trump gave Mattis authority to determine troop levels, but lately the White House has re-asserted itself.
- As you know, Trump has style and substance differences with McMaster, and has even openly pined for the return of his fired predecessor, Mike Flynn. West Wing buzz has been that McMaster would be given a fourth star and sent to Afghanistan.