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    In this photo taken on August 5, 2011, US troops from the Charlie Company, 2-87 Infantry, 3d Brigade Combat Team under Afghanistan's International Security Assistance Force patrols Kandalay village following Taliban attacks on a joint US and Afghan National Army checkpoint protecting the western area of Kandalay village.

    Pentagon Plan: Additional US Troops in Afghanistan Will Depend on NATO Action

    © AFP 2019 / Romeo Gacad
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    The United States is looking to its NATO allies to determine how many additional troops are going to be sent to Afghanistan. The largest military in the world will make its contribution accordingly.

    The Soviet Union needed five years to bring Nazi Germany to its knees. The United States, on the other hand, is marking its 16th year in Afghanistan fighting Taliban forces and Al-Qaeda terrorists. But the Trump administration appears to have found its solution: more troops.

    But just how many troops will be sent will be decided by NATO allies, judging from the words of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    "We've been talking Afghanistan for weeks," Dunford said. "Now we've gotten to the point where the national security adviser [Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster] will facilitate a meeting with the president."

    The plan involves a joint reinforcement of some 15,000 troops needed to boost the military effectiveness of the US-NATO "expeditionary advising packages," essentially training Afghan military forces to do the fighting.

    "What I would like to be able to do when I go to NATO is say, 'This is the US plan for 2017 and beyond, and this is the requirement identified by the commanders," Dunford said. "And start to have conversations to try and generate the forces to meet that requirement."

    That may mean that Trump will start negotiations in Brussels on May 25 by letting NATO commanders decide how many troops they can send to Afghanistan, in an attempt to shift the balance towards more NATO troops and fewer US troops.

    It is believed that additional troops will "stop the Taliban from making further gains," though militants have been so effective in fighting off Afghan forces that "'no end in sight' barely covers the situation," according to The Nation's William J. Astore.

    Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, stressed the importance of the 15,000-strong reinforcement to expand the "expeditionary advising packages."

    "It's strictly a question of manning at this point," Nicholson told Congress in February.

    "For General Nicholson, Afghanistan is actually a ‘petri dish' that, as in a laboratory of terror, has cultivated no fewer than 20 ‘DNA strands' of terrorist bad guys joined by three violent extremist organizations-VEOs in military-speak," The Nation's Astore writes.

    "To prevent a ‘convergence' of all these strands and outfits and so, assumedly, the creation of a super terror bug of some sort, Nicholson suggested, America and its 39-member coalition in Afghanistan must stand tall and send in yet more troops."

    It looks as though the US is seeking to throw foreign NATO forces into General Nicholson's science project instead.

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    Tags:
    plan, troops, reinforcement, Pentagon, NATO, General John W. Nicholson, General Joseph Dunford, United States, Afghanistan
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