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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. general wants 5,000 more troops for Afghanistan

By Ken Hanly     Mar 28, 2017 in World
General John Nicholson the top U.S. general in Afghanistan claims that the U.S. and Europe need to send 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan in order to break a stalemate between Afghan forces versus the Taliban and Islamic State.
General Nicholson told the Sunday Times of London: “We cannot afford to walk away from Afghanistan. This is where the war against terrorism started on 9/11. Failure here would embolden terrorists globally.” Nicholson is expected to request the additional forces at an upcoming meeting of NATO in May. He is reported to have the backing of US Defense Secretary James Mattis as well as the National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Trump appears to be involving the US further in wars that he had criticised as being costly and without merit. Now he is spending more on the military and increasing US involvement in several areas. He has already boasted that he would defeat the Islamic State in Afghanistan this year as discussed in a recent Digital Journal article.
At present, there are 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan along with 5,000 troops from other NATO countries. Nicholson said that the Afghan government controlled about 62 percent of Afghanistan's people and 57 percent of the territory. Nicholson has been asking for more troops for some time but now he has set out the number he wants. The civil war in Afghanistan has been going on now for 16 years. While Nicholson calls the war a stalemate, it appears rather that the Taliban are continuing to gain ground. NATO countries may be becoming weary of sending troops to what seems a never-ending war so that most of the new troops could be from the U.S. The result may be just to extend the war longer.
The Islamic State(IS) is also in Afghanistan but mainly in one province and is a minor factor compared to the Taliban. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Defense said: “Daesh is not that strong that they show and it is not just Daesh in Afghanistan”. Daesh is another name for IS. Waziri said that the strength of the group is exaggerated. However, they have claimed responsibility for some attacks in Kabul the capital including one on a military hospital as shown on the appended video.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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