Trump’s New Afghanistan Policy: More Killing, Little Else
This is how The Intercept succinctly sums it up.
“PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP was set to announce an escalation of 4,000 troops in Afghanistan during a primetime address Monday night where he planned to clarify his policy on the 16-year war he inherited from the two previous presidents.”
“Trump, however, did neither. His audience was left with nothing but excuses and contradictions. Trump refused to say how many troops he was sending, or set any goals or timetables for their withdrawal. “We are not nation-building again,” he stressed, boasting that “we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.”
Amid all the contradictions, though, Trump did make one aspect of his policy absolutely clear: The U.S. would kill more people in Afghanistan. “We are killing terrorists,” he said. “Retribution will be fast and powerful as we lift restrictions and expand authorities.”
Of course, that’s the the real change from Obama: often similar policies but with a lot more killing:
“Trump has already expanded U.S. bombing campaigns throughout the Middle East, authorizing drone strikes at a rate five times that of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Civilian casualties in the war against ISIS are on track to double under Trump, according to the research by the group Airwars.”
“In Afghanistan, though, Trump’s plan for more killing — and little else — ignores a crucial point: The frenzied pace of killing under the Bush administration was what led to a nearly defeated Taliban’s resurgence, bogging down the U.S. down in an endless war. Trump is either forgetting the mistakes of the U.S.’s recent history in Afghanistan or — worse — he simply doesn’t care.”
“Of course, that’s the irony-Trump, though he criticized Bush vociferously during the campaign, has a George W. Bush foreign policy. ”
“Never has anyone done the opposite of their campaign promises to the extent Trump does. Speaking of The Intercept, here was Glenn Greenwald in a recent post.”
“DURING HIS SUCCESSFUL 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump, for better and for worse, advocated a slew of policies that attacked the most sacred prongs of long-standing bipartisan Washington consensus. As a result, he was (and continues to be) viewed as uniquely repellent by the neoliberal and neoconservative guardians of that consensus, along with their sprawling network of agencies, think tanks, financial policy organs, and media outlets used to implement their agenda (CIA, NSA, the Brookings/AEI think tank axis, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, etc.)”
It’s as if Greenwald thinks Trump deserves credit just for his vague campaign promises. He promised not to cut Medicare and no more intervention-it was a lie but give him credit for making the promises even though he didn’t keep them.
Evidently, Greenwald believed Trump which is maybe why he had 16 Hillary and/or Democrat bashing posts during the general and not one negative post about Trump or the GOP.
In any case, Trump’s further escalation in Afghanistan will only make things worse. To be sure, even prior to this, civilian causalties were up by 300% from Obama poliicy in Afghanistan.
Sort of like, here at home under Sessions, deportations of noncriminal undocumented immigrants is up significantly.
“In Washington, the oft-heard explanation for how the U.S. became mired in a permanent Afghanistan war centers on resources. Starting in 2003, the war in Iraq diverted troops and much-needed expertise away from Central and South Asia, allowing the Taliban to resurface as a military force.”
“But in his book “No Good Men Among The Living,” war correspondent Anand Gopal documents the resurgence of the Taliban, offering a much simpler explanation: The bloodlust of the Bush administration led to the resurgence of armed resistance.”
“Gopal meticulously documents how U.S. forces, driven by the Bush administration’s desire to kill terrorists and fill cells in Guantanamo Bay, mistakenly left a trail of dead or imprisoned business owners, community leaders, and even officials in the U.S.-backed government. Meanwhile, the Taliban, which saw a complete military collapse in 2001, was rapidly gathering public support and new members.”
“Along with the U.S.’s wars in the Middle East and Africa, casualties from U.S. airpower in Afghanistan have also been steadily increasing. Earlier this summer, a U.N. report showed a 43 percent increase in civilian casualties from U.S. and Afghan airstrikes. Local officials have accused the U.S. of bombing indiscriminately in civilian areas.”
In Trump’s mind, this is ‘unleashing the military’ and ‘allowing them to win.’ In truth, it’s totally counterproductive.
P.S. Hello! I’m Mike Sax Democratic candidate for NY2. If you want to ride the Impeachment Train all the way to Washington DC in 2019 then please vote for me, Mike Sax NY2.
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