Trump Wants to "Win" in Afghanistan

Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe at the Washington Post: U.S. Poised to Expand Military Effort Against Taliban in Afghanistan.
[Donald] Trump's most senior military and foreign policy advisers have proposed a major shift in strategy in Afghanistan that would effectively put the United States back on a war footing with the Taliban.

The new plan, which still needs the approval of the president, calls for expanding the U.S. military role as part of a broader effort to push an increasingly confident and resurgent Taliban back to the negotiating table, U.S. officials said.

The plan comes at the end of a sweeping policy review built around the president's desire to reverse worsening security in Afghanistan and "start winning" again, said one U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Here, then, is the predictable result of the press jizzing their pants when Trump fired missiles into Syria and dropped the "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan. He wants good press, and the only way he gets it is by flexing U.S. military might. People will die, including U.S. troops, so that Donald Trump can get a good headline.
The new strategy, which has the backing of top Cabinet officials, would authorize the Pentagon, not the White House, to set troop numbers in Afghanistan and give the military far broader authority to use airstrikes to target Taliban militants. It would also lift Obama-era restrictions that limited the mobility of U.S. military advisers on the battlefield.

The net result of the changes would be to reverse moves by President Barack Obama to steadily limit the U.S. military role in Afghanistan, along with the risk to American troops and the cost of the war effort, more than 15 years after U.S. forces first arrived there.
15 years. No reasonable person imagines that increased airstrikes will improve the situation. But here we are. And soon Trump may be ordering airstrikes as he eats the most beautiful chocolate cake, because he wants to "start winning" again. Which means: Win a news cycle.

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