President Trump’s changing gear in Afghanistan not likely to bring change: Experts



WASHINGTON, Jan 1 (APP):After describing Afghanistan as “complete waste” and calling for a troops’ withdrawal during his election campaign, President Trump is changing gears as he plans to send thousands of more troops to the war torn country, but there is little indication the shift will be a quick fix, a report in online magazine The Hill said, quoting defense experts.
The Trump administration and the military commanders are hoping to break the stalemate with new enforcement, to beat back a resurgent Taliban and an increasing flow of ISIS militants into the country now in its 17th year of war.
But, quoting the defense experts, the report said there was a little indication the shift in policy by sending more troops to Afghanistan will be a quick fix.
James Carafano, a foreign and international policy expert and a member of the Trump transition team told the Hill that there had been flow of foreign fighters into Afghanistan and some regional tensions for the government.
For Carafano, the US must contend with the increasing flow of ISIS fighters while continuing its policy with putting “pressure” on Pakistan for support against Taliban but, referring to the current state of US-Pak relationship, he said it may take years to win gains from the relationship, the report said.
Pakistani officials have time and again said by working together, Islamabad and Washington could achieve their common objectives of defeating terrorism and stabilizing Afghanistan.
Pakistan has strongly opposed the new US strategy in South Asia which ignores the facts on the ground and the sacrifices that country has made in fighting global terrorism. Pakistan has made significant gains in the past years and series of military operations along the border with Afghanistan has forced terrorists to flee the country and take refuge in Afghanistan.
Situation in Afghanistan continues to get worse and was underlined by a terror attack this week in Kabul that killed 41 people. ISIS has claimed the responsibility.
During the election campaign in 2015 and 2016, then candidate Trump continuously demanded withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan saying the US has wasted billions there and made terrible mistake by involving there.
But the beginning of the new year will see a U-turn in the policy with more American troops being poured into Afghanistan with no time-frame for withdrawal. But, President Trump says that being in office has changed his views.
Pentagon has started sending about 3,000 troops to Afghanistan, raising the number of troops to about 14,000, and thousands more will be added soon to support the Afghan forces closer to the front lines.
According to the article, quoting defense experts, the war in Afghanistan is “still in a stalemate” and the situation will only grow worse in 2018.
Stephen Miles, director of Win Without War, which advocates for a diplomacy-heavy foreign policy, told the magazine that it was “completely impossible” to think that 15,000 American troops would change the situation when a force of 100,000 under previous presidents failed to achieve the goal.
“The question of Afghanistan in 2018 is, are we going to learn of the failures of the past? We’re seeing a complete failure for having any sort of regional framework. We keep making the same mistakes and nothing really changes, unfortunately,” Miles was quoted as saying.
“No one denies that we have inherited a challenging and troubling situation in Afghanistan and South Asia, but we do not have the luxury of going back in time and making different or better decisions.”