George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan, then Barack Obama failed to completely pull out American troops, and now soldiers are dying on President Trump’s watch as the U.S. continues to be engaged in a 16-year war with no end in sight.
While President Trump continues to lambaste American involvement in the Middle East — frequently saying the U.S. got “nothing” for the conflicts — the president, his aides, or the Defense Department have yet to lay out a strategy for the Afghan war.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked repeatedly Thursday if the administration will deploy more troops to Afghanistan, an idea backed by the top U.S. commander in the region. She referred reporters to the Defense Department as Trump has delegated troop level authority to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Defense Department spokesman Adam Stump told The Daily Caller, “No decisions have been made.”
There are roughly 8,500 American troops in Afghanistan and President Trump gave Mattis the authority to deploy 3,000 more, according to a Washington Post report. Mattis has yet to deploy these troops, although a former intelligence adviser who worked with both Mattis and McMaster told TheDC in April that additional soldiers are needed to win the war in Afghanistan.
“The only way to effectively win in Afghanistan is not announce a withdrawal and find a way to stay,” Michael Pregent, now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, said.